Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton said in a release today that Richard Lee Simmons died of a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to an autopsy conducted today in Newberry, S.C.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and Aiken County Coroner's Office are investigating Mr. Simmons' death. Mr. Carlton said Mr. Simmons died near the scene of the robbery at the Burger King on York Street at about 12:45 p.m. Authorities say four armed men dressed in black entered the restaurant and ordered customers and employees into the cooler. They then made the manager open the safe and cash registers, taking the money.
Police arrived quickly, arresting one suspect as he tried to flee the restaurant. A second suspect was arrested after he broke into a vacant house nearby. Mr. Simmons was found in a field but took his own life when police approached, authorities said. The fourth suspect was accused of carjacking a vehicle at a nearby car wash and making its owner drive him to Hampton Avenue, where he got out and fled on foot.
Arrested were Sean Mark Rodriguez, 25, and Robert Mills Jr., 27, both of Columbia. Police are asking anyone with information on the fourth suspect who got away to call them at (803) 642-7620 or (888) CRIME-SC.