A 57-year-old Horry County man was killed in a shooting outside a Longs grocery store this week, authorities said.
Gerard “Jerry” Celentano died in the shooting, said Horry County Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden. A New Jersey native, Celentano had been living in Horry County for about a year and a half. He had been married for 29 years.
Police responded to the Food Lion at 110 East S.C. 9 Wednesday night after receiving a report of a carjacking and homicide.
Police said a gunman confronted a store employee in the parking lot and demanded the employee unlock the store. At the same time, two other armed men confronted Celentano, who was sitting in a car in the parking lot. When Celentano tried to escape, the suspects fired into the vehicle, killing him.
The suspects then stole the victim’s gray Nissan Altima with South Carolina tag “PFP-140” and fled the scene, according to a news release from the Horry County Police Department.
Police said a short time later two other armed robberies happened in the Loris area. The Carolina Inn was robbed and a person whose vehicle had broken down on Fox Bay Road was also robbed. The release said there is reason to believe these robberies were also committed by the three suspects from the Food Lion incident. Police believe the suspects also robbed a store in Chadbourn, North Carolina. The suspects are believed to have still been operating the car stolen from the Food Lion parking lot, the release says.
If you have any information on these incidents, contact Horry County police at 843-915-TIPS or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WMBF News contributed to this report.