HARDEEVILLE, S.C. — A former fire chief who was shot in a parking lot in South Carolina has died.

News outlets report that Hardeeville police Chief Sam Woodward says 77-year-old Ernest Martin Stevens was shot multiple times around 9 a.m. Thursday and died at Coastal Carolina Hospital.

Woodward said at a press conference that the search for the suspect is continuing throughout the city. No motive has been determined.

Stevens was the former chief of the Hardeeville Fire Department.

Woodward said they had breakfast together the previous day. Stevens’ next-door neighbor Allan Oliveira called the victim “a wonderful man” who “was like a grandpa to everybody.”

The Bluffton Police Department and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division are assisting with the search and investigation.

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