Man charged in Dorchester Co. found dead after fatal restaurant robbery

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC/AP) - Authorities say a man that was charged in Dorchester County in 2005 for assault and battery fatally shot himself after a deadly armed robbery at a restaurant in Columbia.

According to police, Mario Stokes shot himself Wednesday afternoon when deputies attempted to arrest him in connection with a fatal shooting.

It all started in Richland County Tuesday night, when deputies say Stokes walked into Dinos restaurant in the town of Forest Acres. Authorities say Stokes then shot and killed the owner, Steve Kim, who was standing by the cash register.

When police spotted Stokes in a car the following day, Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott says Stokes refused to show them his hands or leave the vehicle. When they approached, they found the man had a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Scott says Stokes had a long criminal record and used a stolen gun in the robberies. Authorities say Kim's restaurant had closed, but he was making a meal for one last customer when he was killed.

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