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Police have charged two Georgetown men in connection with a deadly robbery at a Forestbrook bingo hall last week.

Derrick Rivera, 29, is charged with two counts of murder, two counts of armed robbery, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, according to a news release from the Horry County Police Department.

Bradford Britton, 40, faces charges of two counts of murder and two counts of armed robbery.

Authorities discovered Britton was wanted on a fugitive warrant out of Texas for failing to appear in court in connection to a narcotics charge, the release said.

The incident happened late Friday at Waccamaw Bingo in Belle Terre Plaza off of U.S. 501.

The business’ operators, Steve Johnson, 73, and his son, 46-year-old Sparky Johnson, were shot to death. Both men were from Sumter.

Authorities were called to the bingo parlor around 9:30 p.m. for reports of a shooting with multiple injuries, the release said.

Detectives determined a robbery and shooting had occurred and that the shooter had fled the scene.

The HCPD’s Criminal Investigations Division was called in along with SWAT and bloodhound teams to investigate.

Over several days, witnesses and community members were interviewed, and police analyzed surveillance footage from the area of the incident, according to the release.

Britton was arrested earlier this week by Horry County police and U.S. Marshals Task Force agents in Georgetown. Police say he had been operating a vehicle reported as being at the scene of the deadly robbery.

On Monday, Georgetown police received information from the Horry County Police Department that the vehicle was possibly at Britton’s home on South Kaminski Street, according to a report.

An officer responded to the address and confirmed a silver Volkswagen Jetta was on the property. This information was relayed to the HCPD.

Horry County police and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force arrived and officers executed a search warrant.

Britton was located on the property. Police found out he was wanted out of Texas was taken to a local jail.

Police arrested Rivera Thursday.

“Based upon witness reports and surveillance footage, Rivera is believed to have committed the armed robbery and then fled from Horry County,” the release said.

He was located by U.S. Marshals Task Force agents in Colleton County with the assistance of the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office.

Arrests warrants say Rivera went into the bingo hall armed with a handgun and robbed the business. He also shot the two victims "with malice and aforethought causing their deaths," according to the warrants.

The two men appeared before a magistrate at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center Thursday afternoon, but the judge could not set bond because of the severity of the charges. A circuit court judge will have to make that decision, and a hearing could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to be held.

Prosecutor Obryan Martin said that both Britton and Rivera have applied for court appointed attorneys.

Martin declined to describe any details of the crime, but he noted that both men are charged with murder because the “hand of one is the hand of all.” 

Check back for updates.

RIVERA BRITTON

Derrick Rivera (left) and Bradford Britton

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(1) comment

AS I WAS SAYING

Omg...i had a hard times looking at their eyes- they were just hollow

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