Crime

One person taken to hospital after shooting at Myrtle Beach hotel

By Jason M. Rodriguez

jrodriguez@thesunnews.com

One man was shot and another was taken for questioning after a shooting on the ninth floor of Compass Cove Resort in Myrtle Beach on Saturday night, police said.

The scene in front of the resort, 2311 S. Ocean Boulevard, was similar to most of the scene along the south end of Ocean Boulevard on Saturday for Atlantic Beach Bikefest — cars and motorcycles crawling southbound and a crowd of people moving briskly down the steel barricade-lined sidewalks.

“It was nice and quiet and everybody was chilling and then all of the sudden you hear gunshots,” said James Tyson of North Carolina who was sitting across the street from the resort and said he heard about five gunshots. “And everybody started ducking and running... The police hauled ass too.”

The shooting happened about 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Ron Montgomery of Chesterfield was on his way back from the store when he arrived at a nearby parking lot.

“We were pulling into our motel and there were like five or six gunshots. Pow, pow, pow,” Montgomery said.

“A whole bunch of people started running this way,” he said, motioning toward northbound Ocean Boulevard. “I don’t know where the rest of them went to.”

The victim was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries; his condition was not known early Sunday morning, said Lt. Joey Crosby, spokesman for the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

In a report released early Sunday, the victim was listed as a 39-year-old man, while the suspect was listed as a 45-year-old man. The victim was taken to Grand Strand Medical Center for treatment.

No other details were listed in the report.

Formal charges had not been filed against the suspect as of 7 a.m. Sunday, according to Myrtle Beach records.

The Sun News does not identify suspects until arrest warrants are filed.

By 10:45 p.m. Saturday, police had Ocean Boulevard traffic blocked off to the area. At about 11:10 p.m., police started blocking pedestrian traffic across the street of the crime scene. Less than two minutes later, a subject wanted for questioning, wearing patriotic shorts and white shirt, was found sitting on a cement-block ledge across the street at Affordable Family Resort, taken to the ground and placed in handcuffs by one officer while another had a gun drawn to the man. A crowd had gathered around the man taken for questioning.

“There was a subject that was located in the crowd that we have taken to our annex for questioning at this point,” Capt. David Knipes with Myrtle Beach Police said shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday.

By 11:15 p.m. Saturday, police had resumed traffic flow on Ocean Boulevard in front of Compass Cove, which was part of the 23-mile traffic loop set by police and county officials.

Shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, Crosby said he did not have further information about the shooting and said he did not know when he would update media Sunday.

Last year, three people died and seven were injured in eight shootings on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach during Memorial Day weekend. Tens of thousands of people travel to the area to take advantage of a three-day weekend at the beach or participate in events such as Atlantic Beach Bikefest.

Leaders implemented a number of strategies to prevent violence this Memorial Day weekend, including additional officers and a 23-mile traffic loop.

Tyson said about five uniformed officers were in front of the parking garage, which abuts Ocean Boulevard, when the shots went off. He said he comes to Bikefest annually and was disappointed with this year.

“This was the worst year ever,” Tyson said. “The barricades. They got us like we in prison. Like we still in [expletive] slavery.”

Contact JASON M. RODRIGUEZ at 626-0301 or on Twitter @TSN_JRodriguez.

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