With Aiken, Barnwell slayings, holiday weekend gives no relief from shootings
AIKEN, S.C., (WRDW/WAGT) - A North Augusta man was killed and 14 people were injured early Saturday in a shooting at a nightclub in Aiken, then a 77-year-old woman was killed at her Barnwell home in the two latest slayings among a string of them across the CSRA.
The victim of the Aiken shooting was identified as 30-year-old Craig Youmans, of North Augusta, and the victim of the Barnwell drive-by shooting was identified as 77-year-old Henrietta Creech.
The rash of weekend crimes began to unfold at 12:47 a.m. Saturday when Aiken County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the Seventh Lounge in the 1600 block of Richland Avenue East in Aiken. They found several people wounded and immediately went to work securing the scene and giving aid.
Youmans had suffered several gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Aiken County Coroner Darryl Ables. Youmans’ body will be autopsied in Newberry.
The injured victims were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.
The crime wave continued around 2:26 a.m., when a family member called authorities to report the shooting at Creech’s home in the 6700 block of U.S. 278 in Barnwell.
The caller said a sport utility vehicle drove by and someone in it opened fire at the residence, according to Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd B. Ward.
The death is considered a homicide, and an autopsy will be performed, according to Ward.
Ward’s office and the Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the death, according to Ward.
In the aftermath
At the Aiken nightclub, investigators say a light-colored Chevy Tahoe left the area with at least three people inside. Witnesses said they saw the people firing from the vehicle with a rifle and a handgun.
The investigation is ongoing into the shooting at the business in a shopping center where remnants of crime scene tape hung amid puddled rain in a littered parking lot Saturday morning.
A woman was picking up some of the trash outside the club on Saturday, but a person associated with the business declined to comment to News 12.
The owner of a salon in Aiken said there’s been a noticeable amount in crime in the area, although this was the first incident of its type she’d heard of.
The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office confirms another shooting happened at this nightclub back in 2018.
There’s clearly been an outbreak in deadly shootings across the CSRA in recent days. Among the crimes:
- A shooting Nov. 23 claimed the lives of two men inside the Johnson Beauty and Barber Salon at 706 Eve St. in Augusta. Authorities are still trying to determine what led to the slayings in the Harrisburg neighborhood.
- A man was pronounced dead early Thanksgiving Day after being shot in the 3600 block of Byrd Road in Augusta.
- On Nov. 21, someone shot and killed an 18-year-old on Aiken Street in Augusta.
- On Nov. 24, a shooting at the Benson Estates Apartments left one person dead and injured another in Augusta.
News 12′s Mikel Hannah-Harding contributed to this report.