A holdup suspect cornered by police after the robbery of an Aiken Burger King this afternoon took his own life. Two of his three suspected accomplices are in custody and a fourth man is being sought.
According to a statement from Lt. David Turno, of the Aiken Department of Public Safety, the name of the dead man is not being released until his family can be notified.
Police said about 12:45 p.m. four armed men dressed in black came into the Burger King on York Street. They ordered the customers and employees into the restaurant's cooler and made the manager open the safe and cash registers, taking the money.
However, police arrived at the scene quickly, arresting one suspect as he tried to flee the restaurant. A second suspect was arrested after he broke into a vacant house nearby.
A third suspect was located in a field, but when police approached him, he took his own life. The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating his death.
A fourth suspect carjacked a car at a nearby car wash and made its owner drive him to a spot on Hampton Avenue, where he got out and fled on foot.
Currently in custody are Sean Mark Rodriguez 25, and Robert Mills Jr., 27, both of Columbia. They face charges of armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges.
Investigators recovered a 2000 Mercury Mountaineer from the scene which was stolen last month in a Columbia carjacking.
Police are asking anyone with information on the suspect at large is asked to contact the Aiken Department of Public Safety: (803) 642-7620. Individuals also should call Crimestoppers of the Midlands: (888) CRIME SC. Callers can remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of between $50 and $1,000.