Local

Six shootings in five days. ‘We're not a small little resort town anymore.’

No one was injured when a man fired shots at a home near 63rd Avenue North Wednesday afternoon, making the incident the sixth shooting in Myrtle Beach since Saturday.

Swarms of Myrtle Beach police cars clogged a street off 63rd Avenue North, and a man was taken into custody quickly after the shots rang out.

“We heard about six or seven gunshots … the police came and shut the whole block down,” said Leonard Pringle, who said he witnessed police detain a man.

“They called him on the intercom three times, and he never came out,” Pringle said. “They sat and waited, and then he finally did come out. … All I heard was them like ‘put the gun down, put the gun down,’ and a bunch of commotion. They were arguing, and they brought him out in handcuffs.”

Myrtle Beach police were called to the incident around noon Wednesday to Hawthorne Lane, in between 63rd and 65th avenues North, for a call of shots fired.

“A preliminary investigation revealed … that a male subject discharged a weapon into the ground or into the air. At this time it does not appear the person fired at anyone. Officers have detained an individual to determine his involvement within the incident,” said Lt. Joey Crosby, spokesman with Myrtle Beach police.

The suspect’s name has not been released. More information will be provided if charges are filed, police said.

The incident is the latest in a string of violence that began with a shooting Saturday. No one has been killed in the past six shootings, but some have been injured.

Before the afternoon shooting, a man was taken to the hospital early Wednesday morning with non-life threatening injuries after being shot while he sat in a vehicle on Mr. Joe White Avenue. An investigation revealed the victim was sitting in the vehicle when a suspect got into the car, pulled out a gun and demanded money, Crosby said.

Two more victims were shot at during two separate incidents Monday night, and police believe they’re connected.

Officers were called about the first incident around 11:15 p.m. Monday to the area of Sixth Avenue North and Flagg Street, Crosby said.

The victim, who was not injured, told officers two suspects approached, pulled out a gun, and demanded the victim’s belongings. The victim was shot at by the suspects while trying to escape, Crosby said. While officers were responding to that incident, they received a call about another shooting at 33rd Avenue North and Oak Street. In the roadway they found a victim, who also was approached by two suspects in what appeared to be an attempted robbery, police said. The victim was shot in the incident and taken to the hospital.

Another man was transported to a local hospital with gunshot wounds in the first hour of Easter Sunday after shots rang out near Sixth Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard.

Myrtle Beach police were riding northbound on the boulevard around 12:39 a.m. when officers heard several gunshots fired in that area, according to an incident report.

As they approached the scene, officers saw a 23-year-old man running around in the intersection of Sixth Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard before running over to the Sea Nymph, according to the report.

Another man was transported to the hospital after a fight along Ocean Boulevard broke out around 1:20 Saturday morning, according to a release from the Myrtle Beach Police Department. He was shot while watching the fight, police said.

Crosby said the shooting Wednesday afternoon appeared to be an isolated incident and not related to any of the other spasms of violence, and neighbors at the scene said the area is typically a quiet place.

Crosby spoke at the scene Wednesday afternoon about the string of recent shootings and said it takes a collaborative effort with police and community working together to keep the city safe.

“Society has changed as a whole,” he said. “Techniques and methods that were used to police back then may not be applicable today. There’s a segment of society that does not worry about the consequences of their actions, so what we have to do is be proactive in our response, be innovative in our response, but also have a collaborative response.”

“We’re not a small little resort town anymore,” Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes said. “We’re a major city in this time of year and major cities bring problems, like any other major city.

“The part that we have to play is to make sure that we’re on top of things as much as we can be.”

Crosby said city cameras played a vital role within the investigation of some of the previous shootings, but stressed that solving crimes also takes police work and cooperation from victims and witnesses.

“We each have a responsibility, and we each have a part to play in making our community safer,” Crosby said. “We’re certainly going to do our part by evaluating or response and what resources we need. We’re encouraging others to come on board with us. Let’s work together to address the issue.”

He said the collaborative effort means businesses and citizens reporting suspicious activity to police along with taking security precautions to stay safe. He said situational awareness is important, and some extra safety steps for businesses include extra lighting and security systems.

Staff writer Chloe Johnson contributed to this report.

  Comments