Latest Myrtle Beach shooting kills 1, vexes tourists and business owners
Monday, May 25, 2020
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) -- Myrtle Beach was rocked by two shootings over the weekend that left at least one person dead, just a week after another pair of shootings.
The latest incident was a deadly shooting early Monday along Ocean Boulevard.
Myrtle Beach police Cpl. Tom Vest said officers were called around 12:40 a.m. to 15th Avenue South and Ocean Boulevard.
Vest said one person was killed in the shooting and one person is in custody following the shooting.
The shooting came 24 hours after police said shots were fired near 12th Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard that left four people injured during the busy Memorial Day weekend.
According to Myrtle Beach police, the suspects in that incident were located and detained shortly after the 12:30 a.m. shooting. Names will be released after formal charges are announced.
Four people suffered gunshot wounds and all are expected to recover, police said.
Last weekend, two shootings occurred just blocks away.
Seven people have been arrested and charged in connection with that gang-related shooting. Three people suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.
After meeting with Myrtle Beach’s chief of police and two city managers, Mayor Brenda Bethune said the shooting early Sunday appeared gang-related.
"All of the real-time crime unit information does lead to that. It’s another situation very similar to what we had last weekend, where these were two rival gangs who brought their dispute into Myrtle Beach to finish fighting it out,” Bethune said.
Sunday’s shooting had some guests ending their vacations a little early.
“The sad thing is that I’ve never been here, but I don’t want to come back after this," said Holiday Inn at the Pavilion guest Gina Kipfer.
“There’s still little children with their families, and people up and down the streets, lots of traffic, and how nobody else got hurt is amazing," said Kipfer.
Kipfer cut her stay in Myrtle Beach very short and was soon on the road back to Colorado.
Some business owners are expressing major safety concerns about the recurring gang violence along Ocean Boulevard.
Rayen Aish, a cashier at Discount City, a few miles away, said the trend in violence makes her very concerned about working a normal shift on the job.
“Honestly, I’m kind of scared coming to work every night and staying late,” Aish said.
Aish said she’d fully support the city implementing a curfew if it means keeping the businesses and residents safer.
Robbie Henderson, a manager for Generation X store on Ocean Boulevard, said last weekend’s shooting was already impacting their business and was seeing a big decrease in foot traffic.
“It’s killing my business," Henderson said. "Because every time something extraordinary happens [in this area] it shuts down the boulevard.”
Like many businesses, Henderson said the store was already focusing on keeping employees safe during a pandemic and having to now be concerned about a possible trend of shootings is becoming a bit too much to handle.
“We’re over here trying to make sure we’re safe but at the same time not get anything from COVID-19," Henderson said. "Makes it really hard to do our jobs.”