HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The father of a man in a Surfside Beach-area barricade situation overnight Sunday into Monday said his son didn’t have to die during the incident, stating his son dealt with mental illness.
39-year-old Hendrix Washington died in the barricade situation, which began Sunday night and ended with his death early Monday morning. Authorities have not said how he died. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.
Police said officers and Hendrix Washington exchanged gunfire during the hours-long standoff that shut down Highway 17 Business. Police were initially called to the area for a report of a “disorderly tenant.”
“The worst nightmare I ever had in my life,” said Nathanial Washington, the father of Hendrix Washington.
“It was a young man that called me telling me what was going on when it first started, so that’s when I found out,” Washington said.
Washington said his son lived in Conway and was a chef in Myrtle Beach.
Washington said his son had bipolar disorder and wasn’t sure if he was receiving treatment or on medications.
“I’m pretty sure in the past, I saw something in him and I was seeking help for him,” Washington said.
Washington said the officers should’ve taken his son’s mental health into consideration.
“From what I know about policemen, from what I’ve seen, they don’t go about it in the correct manner,” Washington said. “Simple as that. If someone was barricaded in the room, how does the policeman even locate where he was at in the room?”
The Horry County Police Department said Sunday night that officers were trying to de-escalate the situation.
Washington said he hasn’t eaten a full meal in days and his family is looking for answers.
“I’m trying not to fall, too,” Washington said. “I’m so stressed out early this morning, my mind has to keep telling me, be strong, stay strong.”
He said his son was recently “spooked” after a traffic stop with Conway police for a broken tail light.
Hendrix Washington got away and had warrants for his arrest, which a Conway spokesperson said are no longer active.
News13 reached out to the Horry County Police Department on Wednesday for a response and were directed to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, which told News13 it had nothing new to share since the investigation is ongoing.
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Manny Martinez is the weekend evening anchor and a reporter at News13. Manny is from Chicago. He graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in broadcast journalism. Follow Manny on Twitter and read more of his work here.