Man facing murder charges for Conway bank killings, robbery

LORIS, SC (WBTW) – The man Conway police identified as a person of interest in the murders of two CresCom bank employees Monday afternoon has been taken into police custody in North Carolina.

While police identified Brandon Council as a person of interest in the case Tuesday, in a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson says officials are seeking charges including two counts of murder, bank robbery, grand larceny, armed robbery, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and felon in possession of a weapon.

“Brandon Council has been arrested without incident in Greenville, North Carolina by the Greenville North Carolina Police Department,” Richardson announced. “Immediately we began pursuing charges to include two counts of murder, one count of entering a bank with the intent to steal, grand larceny, armed robbery, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and felon in possession of a pistol.”

During the press conference, officials thanked local law enforcement for their efforts and also announced funds have been set up for the families of Donna Major and Katie Skeen through NewSpring Church and Advancing the Kingdom Church, respectively.

Conway Mayor Barbara Blain Bellamy spoke first at the press conference, repeatedly referencing the families of the victims and the town’s committment to support them through this unimaginable time.

“Evil lurks even in quiet and beautiful communities such as ours, but we will never believe evil is greater than good,” Mayor Bellamy concluded.

Lt. Selena Small with the Conway Police Department wrapped up the press conference by thanking the community for calling in tips and sharing information through social media.

“We can’t fix what happened but we hope that we can bring closure and that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Lt. Small.

Conway police officials also say they are still looking for the car Council used to run from the scene of the deadly bank robbery.

Greenville Police Department Public Information Officer Kristen Hunter says Brandon Council was apprehended Wednesday afternoon.

Greenville officials say an anonymous person called in a tip around 12 p.m. Wednesday that they saw who they believed to be Brandon Council, the person of interest in a Conway bank robbery that resulted in the murder of two employees. The caller gave a description of Council’s car.

Greenville police located the car and conducted a traffic stop near the Baymont Inn, located at 3439 South Memorial Drive, in Greenville. Police say Council attempted to run but was apprehended a short time later.

Two other people in the car with Council were also taken into police custody for questioning, but have not been arrested. Their names have not been released.

The Greenville Police Department credits a community member for Council’s apprehension.

At 1:13 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, Horry County police announced Council’s arrest on the department’s Facebook page. Shortly after posting the update, Horry County police deleted the post and the tweet confirming his arrest.

Horry County Police initially announced the arrested of Council, but deleted the post within minutes. (Image Source: Screenshot of HCPD Facebook post)
Lt. Selena Small with Conway police released a statement clarifying that they’re waiting for confirmation that the subject in custody is, in fact, Brandon Council.

“The subject’s identity HAS NOT been confirmed and we must confirm the identity before we can officially state this,” Lt. Small stated in an email.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents were in Loris Wednesday morning related to Monday’s deadly Conway bank robbery. After Horry County police released the person of interest had been captured, Conway Police Department Lt. Selena Small announced that she had confirmed with SLED that nothing was found or confirmed in the Loris area.

According to SLED spokesperson Thom Berry, agents were on the ground in the Loris community Wednesday, but he could not confirm if it is believed that the person of interest in the case is in the area. Berry also confirmed that SLED has a helicopter surveying the Loris community from the air.

Conway police named Brandon Michael Council, 32, of Wilson, North Carolina as a person of interest in the CresCom bank robbery that resulted in the death of two employees Monday afternoon.

Lt. Selena Small with the Conway Police Department says officers responded to a bank alarm at CresCom around 1:16 p.m. Monday. When officers arrived, they located two employees inside the bank who had died from injuries sustained during the robbery, confirms Lt. Small.

Tuesday afternoon, Horry County Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden identified the victims as 59-year-old Donna Major from Conway and Kathryn “Katie” Skeen, 36, from Green Sea.

The press conference was originally planned for 2 p.m. Wednesday at the City of Conway Public Safety Building located at 1600 Ninth Avenue, but later postponed to 4 p.m. Lt. Small says a number of agencies will be involved in the announcement, including the City of Conway, Conway Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigations, and CresCom Bank.