Three dead, two injured during shootings in Myrtle Beach

05/25/2014 3:06 PM

05/25/2014 3:41 PM

Three people were killed and two were injured during multiple shootings on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach late Saturday.

Jamie Williams, 23, of Ladsen, and Devonte Dantzler, 21, and Sandy Gaddis Barnwell, both of Summerville were pronounced dead Saturday by Horry County deputy coroner Darris Fowler. Fowler said all three died from trauma to vital organs due to gunshot wounds.

The shooting investigation closed portions of Ocean Bouleard until after 3 a.m.

The first shooting occurred about 9:30 p.m. at Sixth Avenue South and Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach police spokesman Capt. David Knipes said. One man was shot and taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center.

Officers still were investigating the first shooting at about 11 p.m. when another shooting occurred at Bermuda Sands Resort, about seven blocks away at First Avenue North. Williams and Dantzler died immediately on the scene, and Barnwell and one other person were taken to Grand Strand with gunshot wounds. Barnwell was prnounced dead at the hospital.

About 20 people could be seen in the outdoor hallways of the upper floors of Bermuda Sands looking down on the second floor, where two of the people were shot and killed.

Officers draped sheets over the balcony of a hallway just outside the doors to two second-floor rooms of the motel to shield two of the bodies from people on nearby Ocean Boulevard.

There were two homicides in Myrtle Beach in 2013, and Knipes said having three in one night was concerning.

Police continue to investigate the shootings. They could not say if the shootings were related.

George Covington of Burlington, N.C., said he saw people fighting on the sidewalk in front of Bermuda Sands when initial shots were fired. He said a few minutes later he heard another several shots, screams and then quiet.

“At first, everyone was standing around to see who was going to win the fight,” he said. “Then they started shooting and everyone scattered. They started to come back and then I just heard [several gunshots], then everything was quiet.”

Covington said he felt the police presence was more relaxed this year than in previous years.

“The police seemed more laid back, and then this happened,” he said.

Covington said he’s stayed at the hotel several times in the 15 years he’s visited Myrtle Beach for for the annual Atlantic Beach BikeFest, which began Friday.

“For a place this nice, to have this happen to them, it’s a tragedy,” he said of Bermuda Sands. “It’s stupid. And what they were fighting about, I don’t know.”

Further south on Ocean Boulevard, people lined the sidewalks and questioned each other trying to learn why the road was closed to vehicle traffic from Third Avenue South to about Fifth Avenue North. One block at Bermuda Sands also was closed to pedestrian traffic.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

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