Friend explains Cook Out shooting victim tried to stop man from hitting woman

Friend explains Cook Out shooting victim tried to stop man from hitting woman
Police say Albert "AJ" Soles Jr. was shot and killed early Friday morning at a Cook Out in Myrtle Beach.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The suspect in a deadly shooting at a Myrtle Beach Cook Out will stay behind bars.

A judge denied bond Friday afternoon for 23-year-old Niko Williams of Murrells Inlet, who faces murder and attempted murder charges in connection to the case.

Judge Clifford Welsh did not set bond on any of the charges in the case, because a circuit court judge must set bond on a murder charge.

He is accused of shooting two people around 1 a.m. Friday in the parking lot of the fast-food restaurant on North Kings Highway. Police said the two victims were rushed to the hospital, but one of the victims died from his injuries.

Niko Williams
Niko Williams (Source: Myrtle Beach Jail)

Horry County Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden identified the victim as 24-year-old Albert “AJ” Soles, Jr., of Tabor City, N.C.

Arrest warrants state that Williams got into a fight with two people, and when Soles and the other victim came up to intervene, Williams shot them.

“He intervened when a male tried to hit a female,” said Soles' friend, Charles Norris. “I was literally standing right next to him when everything happened.”

A Myrtle Beach police detective said in court that the victims were unarmed and didn’t pose a threat to the suspect. He added that multiple rounds were fired and there were a lot of people around at the time.

Now, friends of Soles are left to mourn the loss of their friend whose life was cut short.

“He’s as good as gold. He’d give you the shirt off his back honestly. If you needed him, he was there,” Norris said. “It didn’t matter where he went, everyone around him laughed and had a good time. He may have only been 24 but he had 100 years worth of fun.”

“Everyone called him ‘Cowboy’ so forever he’ll be known as Whiteville’s Original Cowboy,” said Autumn Brown, another friend of Soles.

Soles family and friends are hosting a truck drive in honor of him. They will meet around 7 p.m. Saturday at the Whiteville Walmart on Columbus Circle Drive. The ride will start at 8 p.m. and drivers will stop at some of Soles' favorite places.

A funeral service will also be held Monday at 11 a.m. at the Worthington Funeral Home.

Copyright 2020 WMBF. All rights reserved.