YEMASSEE, S.C. (WSAV) — One person is dead and seven others were injured in a mass shooting near a Yemassee convenience store early Sunday morning. Six of the seven victims injured were children ranging from ages 8-14.
“They’re animals and we gotta be the hunters to go get them, because if they had no disregard for law enforcement there, thats our first deterrence is our presence, and we were in the area, we gotta hunt them down and we’re gonna do just that,” said Gregory Alexander, YPD Chief of Police.
WSAV News 3 is told 8 people were shot at a party next the convenience store in an abandoned lot on St. Clair street. The Yemassee Police Department (YPD), says the shooting occurred early Sunday morning around 12:30 at Snappy Foods.
Officials say the party consisted of approximately 400-500 people, and police were already monitoring the scene due to the crowd.
Yemassee Town Clerk Matthew Garnes, says the victim who died, was a man. The identities of the victims are being withheld. Police say the victims were transported to various hospitals.
YPD says it believes the mass shooting stemmed from several fights on St. Clair Street following the Yemassee Shrimp Festival. Police are still working to identify suspects.
“It was like a trickle effect. From my understanding there was like 10 different fights that happened during that time, and then one person started shooting, and then two people started shooting, and we had three or four people out there shooting,” said Alexander.
Officials say they’ve received an overwhelming amount of help and support from the community, but need just a little more information from the public in order to get an arrest warrant.
“We need people to come out and make statements, because just word of mouth, we think we know who done it but just word of mouth is not enough for us to go get an arrest warrant. We cannot convince the judge to get an arrest warrant on a word to mouth,” Alexander said.
Alexander says the city is looking into restricting private events — such as the parking lot party — in the future.
Police urge anyone with information to call 843-589-3126. Police also say they are offering cash for videos of the incident if given to police.
No further details were released.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is reported.