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Police Chief Commits Suicide After Attempted Murder of Wife

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Retired Isle of Palms Police Chief, James B. Arnold, was involved in a fatal altercation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 28, 2024. The incident, which took place at the residence of Arnold’s estranged wife, Brana Williams, a local traffic court judge, culminated in Arnold’s suicide.

The incident began when Arnold, armed with a firearm, broke into Williams’ home on Chapel Ridge Circle, near Saint James High School, around 2 a.m. At the time, Williams, her boyfriend Brian Shives, and her two youngest sons were in the house. Shives reported that he confronted Arnold, managing to dislodge the magazine from the weapon despite suffering multiple blows and lacerations to his chest.

“I saw she had two younger sons that had a hold of his arms, and I see the gun so, I jumped over… jumped up and stuck my finger behind the trigger,” Shives detailed. He further explained that Arnold punched him repeatedly while attempting to fire the weapon by striking Shives in the chest. The confrontation ended when Shives bit Arnold’s finger, forcing him to release the weapon and flee the premises.

Williams, married to Arnold for 23 years before initiating divorce proceedings, also incurred minor injuries during the incident. The couple, who adopted six children all below 20 years of age, had their family life disrupted by the tragic event.

Following his hasty departure from Williams’ residence, Arnold was pursued by law enforcement officers. He returned to the Chapel Ridge Circle home where he ended his life in the driveway. The shocking event has deeply affected the family and community, with expressions of sympathy pouring in for the children caught in the ordeal.

A family insider noted that the situation had been deteriorating, especially after one of Arnold’s daughters claimed discomfort due to an inappropriate remark made by Shives. This incident likely fueled the heightened emotions that culminated in the fatal confrontation.

Jake McPherson, a neighbor who grew up with the Arnold-Williams children, voiced his sadness over the incident, stating, “It’s unbelievable, and I feel deeply sorry for the children. They don’t deserve this situation. They already had a difficult family life, which only worsens things for them.”

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