PALMS ISLAND, SC (WCBD) — Frightened beachgoers flee the scene of a shooting in South Carolina after gunshots were heard on a busy Isle of Palms beach, video obtained by a NewsNation affiliate shows WCBD.
Six people were injured in the Friday night shooting following a series of altercations during local senior holiday celebrations, Isle of Palms officials confirmed during a news conference.
“We know a fight broke out, then a second fight broke out. As officers were dealing with those two incidents, that’s when the shooting started,” said Isle of Palms Police Chief Kevin Cornett.
The Isle of Palms Police Department (IOPPD) said most of the victims were teenagers, and at least one victim appeared to be in his thirties to mid-forties.
Several people were detained on weapons charges late Friday, although the IOPPD has not confirmed whether anyone is responsible for the shooting.
Chief Cornett said the department is still investigating.
The Isle of Palms City Council has scheduled an emergency meeting to address the incident for Saturday at 12:00 p.m. Officials plan to hold another press conference before the meeting.
Footage taken by beachgoers just before the shoot (available in the player above) appears to show hundreds of beachgoers huddled on a pier on the Isle of Palms. Many were then suddenly heard screaming before gunshots rang out.
“Down!” someone is heard screaming right before the camera crashes and turns off.
The IOPPD said the shooting occurred around 5:20 p.m., after which officers cleared and cordoned off most of the beach.
Representative Nancy Mace (RS.C.) was among those reacting to the shooting in twittersaying, in part, “I’m not going to politicize tonight’s horrific events, but I have many thoughts on the policies I’ve worked on for years to reduce gun violence. It’s time to WORK TOGETHER.”
Isle of Palms City Council member Blair Hahn also provided a statement to WCBD, lamenting the incident and the lack of a dedicated emergency line for first responders to use.
“This is an unfortunate event and my heart goes out to all involved and their families,” he added.
Isle of Palms officials said several agencies assisted with the investigation, including the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, the North Charleston Police Department, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, the Mount Pleasant Police Department, the Sullivan Island Police Department, and more. The South Carolina Division of Law Enforcement and federal agencies have also offered assistance.
IOPPD has also established a tip line which can be contacted at 843-529-3750.
Police added that they had planned to increase patrols ahead of spring break and that patrols would likely increase further after the shooting.