On Friday afternoon, a shooting occurred on the Isle of Palms, a popular beach close to Charleston in South Carolina. The incident resulted in the hospitalisation of six people, with authorities stating that several suspects have been detained on weapons-related charges. According to WCIV, the six patients were sent to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) with non-life-threatening injuries.
The shooting took place during senior skip day, an annual tradition where senior high school students skip classes, resulting in a huge crowd gathering on the beach beneath the pier. As fights started to occur, the majority of the victims were teenagers, but a handful were also adults. Isle of Palms Police Chief Kevin Cornett says several people were taken into custody after the shooting.
Videos of the incident were immediately shared on Twitter, showing hundreds of people running away from the beach. The incident occurred close to a pier that is located in front of a busy strip of clubs and eateries, according to The Post and Courier.
At a news briefing, Police Chief Kevin Cornett confirmed that officers were already on the beach helping to break up a couple of fights when several shots were fired at around 5:20 p.m. He said that they knew a fight had broken out, and while officers were dealing with those two incidents, the shooting started.
At least six individuals were shot, mostly teens around the age of 18, according to police. At least one of the individuals is an adult in their 30s or 40s who happened to be on the beach when the incident took place. Several individuals were arrested in connection to the shooting, but police couldn’t confirm if any of them were the shooter. Police did not specify how many people were arrested or their ages.
Firearms were recovered from the beach, but police couldn’t say if they were the weapons used in the shooting. The investigation into the shooting is ongoing, and police are asking anyone with information on the shooting to come forward.
Police had already planned to beef up officer presence at the beach in time for the start of Spring break before the shooting happened, according to Police Chief Kevin Cornett. “It is heart-wrenching to hear of this senseless act of violence, especially so close to home,” Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC., said in a Twitter post regarding the incident. “Thank you to the first responders and law enforcement officers for their rapid response and brave service.”
The incident is another example of the ongoing gun violence problem in the United States. Despite numerous attempts to introduce gun control legislation, there are still a significant number of shootings each year, resulting in injury and loss of life. The incident in South Carolina is a stark reminder of the importance of taking action to address this issue.