Gang members involved in Aiken shooting

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, September 14, 2007

AIKEN, S.C.---Investigators say gang members are linked to the shooting death of a 20-year-old Aiken man. Just after midnight on Wednesday (September 12), deputies say 19-year-old Morris Dorch shot and killed Prince Shand, Jr.

News 12 is learning more about both men involved in this shooting. The Aiken County Sheriff's Office says Shand and Dorch are gang members. But the question looms: what are the circumstances surrounding this incident?

On 12:15 Wednesday morning, a quiet night turned deadly outside of 114 Kenmont Street. The victim: 20-year-old Prince Shand, Jr., dead. The suspect: 19-year-old Morris Dorch.

Deputies say he is armed, dangerous and on the run. And now, Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt tells News 12 gangs are involved. But the extent of their involvement is not known yet.

"We don't know if it was a shooting involving gang retaliation for something earlier this week or if it was just a shooting over an argument involving gang members," Hunt says.

Irving Brooks was there when Prince Shand, Jr. was killed. He says a friend of Prince's fought someone, but has no other details.

"It just is a big misunderstanding, because it had to be, because for Prince to get shot...he didn't do nothing to deserve that," says Brooks.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office does not have a specific deputy assigned to gang related crimes. They say finding a gang is just like finding narcotics: first by developing intelligence.

"Once we identify certain members of a gang, we try to narrow in on their location--their turf so to speak," says Sgt. Steve Deibel.

Self admission is one way they identify gang members. But that's on the decline. Tattoos, colors and who people hang out with at lunch are important, too.

"By themselves, they are nothing, But when you start adding them up and connecting the dots, they become something for us," says Sgt. Deibel.

With gang members primarily between 12 and 24 years old, deputies say it's important to take every opportunity to talk to the youth.

"'Cause once you're in, very seldom do you get out," says Sgt. Deibel.

If you have any information on this case, please call:

-your local law enforcement
-the Aiken Co. Sheriff's Office at (800) 922-9709
-Crimestoppers of the Midlands at (888) 559-TIPS.

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