After four shootings in two days left eight people wounded, the public outcry that followed rousted city leaders to call a special council meeting to address concerns about “criminal behavior.”
Then another shooting - with another victim - was reported Monday evening.
“The Myrtle Beach City Council will hold a special meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday … at the Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center,” announced city spokesman Mark Kruea in a release Monday.
He said the city “is concerned about recent criminal behavior and will discuss proposed solutions” at the public meeting.
City leaders already had asked police to beef up patrols on Ocean Boulevard after a string of shootings over the Easter week. And the police department, which has struggled at times to fill vacancies, has shored up reinforcements with the help of outside agencies and off-duty officers, pitching in for extra shifts.
The back-up manpower will be used through the entire summer with extra officers called in during holidays that typically draw the crowds, according to Lt. Joey Crosby of the Myrtle Beach Police Department.
The number of officers on Ocean Boulevard will vary from weekend to weekend, he said.
Police were on the boulevard in the first hour of Sunday morning when a man pulled a gun and fired into a crowd after he was attacked by a group near the Wayfarer Motel.
Seven people, including the shooter, were injured in that shooting that led to a carjacking around 12:25 a.m. A firefighter in town for the S.C. Fire-Rescue Convention captured the incident on a Facebook Live video that went viral.
Three of four shooters remain at large from the weekend as police collect and analyze evidence, interview witnesses and follow leads to piece together the violence that sent some tourists leaving town in a hurry Sunday.
The man accused in the Wayfarer shooting has been detained, but has not been formerly charged. Once he is medically-cleared, Crosby says, the suspect’s identity will be released as he is presented with warrants.
Another person was injured in a shooting in the parking lot near the Cinemark at the Coastal Grand Mall at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. All of the victims from both shootings were reported to have suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Police reported another shooting took place at the Lazy G Motel Monday night, leaving one person injured, who refused to cooperate with the police’s investigation, Crosby said. The victim also refused medical treatment, he said, and officers were “unable to determine if the victim was injured” as a result of the reported shooting.
A Myrtle Beach man was shot and killed at the same motel in January.
Twenty-two-year-old Larry Tranell Carter and 19-year-old Malik Crawford were accused of kidnapping, robbing and shooting 33-year-old Rashad Lamar Atkins inside his apartment at the Lazy G Motel shortly after midnight on Jan. 12. Atkins was transported to the hospital where he died.
Carter and Crawford have each been charged with murder, possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, kidnapping and armed robbery. Carter has also been charged with attempted murder and possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in connection with another shooting that occurred on Christmas Eve at the Third Ave Sports Bar and Grill, which has since been closed under a public nuisance claim in Myrtle Beach.
Ten minutes after the mall shooting on Saturday, police were called to the Crown Reef Resort for a report of shots fired, but no victims were found, police said.
Officers were also called to the Dunes Village Resort at 5200 N. Ocean Blvd. at 9:05 p.m. Sunday for a report of gunshots, but police say they found no one injured and no witnesses willing to talk.
“Based on the limited information collected at the scene, officers believe this incident began as a verbal altercation and then shots were fired,” said Lt. Joey Crosby of the Myrtle Beach Police Department. “It is unknown if the shots were fired at someone or in the air.”
Bartenders at two restaurants near the scene said an unusually large crowd of teenagers clogged the sidewalks, spilling over into the street beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday. One bar owner noted it was Senior Week along the Grand Strand when the mass shooting at the Wayfarer occurred.
Concerned business owners are expected to show up at the council meeting to hear how the city plans to address the Father’s Day weekend and Easter week shootings.
All five shootings remain under investigation. Anyone who may have information regarding any of the incidents is asked to call Myrtle Beach Police at 843-918-1382.