ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Frightened beachgoers fled the scene of a shooting in South Carolina after gunshots rang out on a crowded Isle of Palms beach, video obtained by Nexstar’s WCBD shows.
Six people were injured in Friday evening’s shooting following a series of altercations during local senior skip-day festivities, Isle of Palms officials confirmed during a news conference.
“We know there was a fight that broke out, then a second fight that broke out. While officers were dealing with those two incidents, that’s when the shooting started,” Isle of Palms Police Chief Kevin Cornett said.
The Isle of Palms Police Department (IOPPD) said that most victims were teens, and at least one victim appeared to be in her thirties to mid-forties.
Several people were detained on weapons charges as of Friday evening, though IOPPD had not yet confirmed if any of those individuals were responsible for the shooting.
Chief Cornett said the department was still investigating.
The Isle of Palms City Council has scheduled an emergency meeting to address the incident Saturday at 12:00 p.m. Officials plan to hold another press conference prior to the meeting.
Footage taken by a beachgoer just before the shooting (available in the player above) appears to show hundreds of beachgoers crowded by a pier on Isle of Palms. Many are then suddenly heard screaming before gunshots ring out.
“Get down!” someone can be heard yelling just before the camera drops and cuts out.
IOPPD said the shooting occurred around 5:20 p.m., after which officials cleared and shut down a large section of the beach.
Representative Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) was among those who reacted to the shooting on Twitter, saying, in part, “I will not politicize this horrific event tonight, but I have many thoughts about policies I’ve worked on over the years to reduce gun violence. It’s past time to WORK TOGETHER.”
Isle of Palms City Councilman Blair Hahn also gave WCBD ta statement, lamenting both the incident and the lack of a dedicated emergency lane for first responders to use.
“This is an unfortunate event and my heart goes out to all involved and their families,” she added.
Isle of Palms officials said several agencies were assisting with the investigation, including the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, North Charleston Police Department, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, Mount Pleasant Police Department, Sullivan’s Island Police Department, and more. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and federal agencies have also offered assistance.
IOPPD has also established a tip line which can be reached at 843-529-3750.
Police added that they had already planned to step up patrols ahead of spring break and that patrols will likely be increased even further after the shooting.