Coroner: Fugitive's death ruled suicide by cop

(Ava Wilhite/WCIV)

ST. GEORGE, S.C. (WCIV) - The Dorchester County Coroner says Tuesday's officer-involved fatal shooting of a fugitive at a St. George motel was suicide by cop.

"Being a criminal and choosing to confront law enforcement with a deadly weapon, what is one to think the result will be? Law Enforcement is trained to use their weapons and to protect the lives of others and their own," said Coroner Chris Nisbet in a statement Wednesday.

According to Maj. Eric Watson with the sheriff's office, State Law Enforcement Division agents were at the Southern Inn hotel on Winningham Road to apprehend a fugitive wanted in Connecticut for murder and probation violation.

U.S. Marshals identified the man as 37-year-old Vamond Arqui Elmore. Marshals say Elmore was seen leaving one of the hotel rooms.

Agents arrived at the hotel and there was a short pursuit in the parking lot. Watson said the suspect presented a weapon, and that's when two SLED agents fired, striking the suspect.

The suspect was taken to Medical University Hospital. His name has not been released.

U.S. Marshals and Dorchester County Sheriff's deputies also responded. About 20 officers were on the scene, officials said.

In June 2005, Elmore was convicted in federal court within the District of Connecticut for unlawful possession of a weapon and ammunition by a convicted felon.

He was sentenced to 92 months in prison for that crime.

Marshals said Elmore was known to have tied to the Dorchester County area.

"It is unfortunate that shots were required during the arrest of Mr. Elmore. The citizens of South Carolina are now safer due to the hard work and dedication of our local law enforcement. I cannot be more proud of the cooperative efforts and interagency support of our state, local and federal law enforcement agencies," Kelvin Washington, the U.S. marshal for the District of South Carolina said.

Charleston County deputies say the evidence collected in the shooting will be sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations to be processed.