Mayor Rhodes: Shootings damage city’s desired reputation as family friendly destination

Mayor John Rhodes waves to the crowd as he passes in the Sun Fun parade.
Mayor John Rhodes waves to the crowd as he passes in the Sun Fun parade. File photo

Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes called the Sunday morning shooting incident damaging to the city’s desired reputation as a family friendly destination.

A suspect has been apprehended by police in the early morning shootout on Ocean Boulevard that has injured multiple people. It was all captured on a Facebook live video that’s been seen by more 1 million people.

WARNING: This video contains graphic content. A tourist caught the entire shooting on Ocean Boulevard during a Facebook live video. An officer was not shot during the incident, Myrtle Beach police say.

At approximately 12:25 a.m. Sunday, Myrtle Beach Police officers responded to the area because of a large crowd.

Prior to officers arriving on the scene, a fight began between individuals. One of the men involved in the fight presented a gun and shot the person he was fighting. An armed security officer witnessed the shooting and shot the shooter.

The shooter fired multiple rounds and fled the scene by carjacking a vehicle.

Multiple people continue to fall to the ground shortly after the shooting on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach that sent several people to the hospital.

It was the third shooting within eight hours, with a gunshot victim found at Coastal Grand Mall around 4:30 p.m. Saturday and a report of shots fired at the Crown Reef Resort on Ocean Boulevard about 10 minutes later.

Rhodes said Sunday that in many cases, shootings occur from gang activity or “drug deals gone wrong,” and the perpetrators are often weekend visitors.

He said the incidents are damaging, especially in situations like the Facebook live video of the Ocean Boulevard shooting.

“Social media today puts this word out quickly,” Rhodes said. “It does not look good for the city of Myrtle Beach.”

He did praise the police for responding quickly to the Ocean Boulevard shooting, however, and said they likely stopped the situation from escalating further.

“We’re gonna send a message to do everything that’s humanly possible to stop this violence in our city,” he said.

“I’m sorry for our city that this happened.”

Law enforcement and EMS officials load a victim into an ambulance shortly after the Ocean Boulevard shooting on Sunday, June 18, 2017.