Skip to comments.Weekend of violence has Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce president on damage control
Posted on 05/27/2014 12:03:23 PM PDT by Gamecock
Several shootings on Memorial Day weekend have Grand Strand officials on damage control working to spread the word to visitors and residents that the area is safe.
Three people were killed and seven injured in five confirmed shootings over the weekend, but Myrtle Beach Police Capt. David Knipes said there were several more reports of shootings or sounds of gunshots that were unconfirmed.
The violence struck a nerve with Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President Brad Dean.
Unfortunately, none of us are surprised, as the Memorial Day motorcycle rally continues to create unanswered challenges for the community and visitors, he said. Safety is a necessity for a tourism destination to thrive and no amount of publicity and promotion will counter the bad publicity generated this weekend.
The senseless acts of criminals and unruly visitors have once again marred what should have been a stellar weekend celebrating our armed forces and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of America. He said the Chamber is working with promotional partners to do what little we can to counter the negative publicity and assure those visitors planning a trip to the Myrtle Beach area that our community values their safety.
State Rep. Tracy Edge also issued a statement following the shootings saying the cities and law enforcement need to take back the streets and make the Grand Strand safer for residents, business owners and visitors.
Edge said additional law enforcement assistance should be used next year.
While there were times when things appeared that police were fighting an uphill battle we never have seen the type of lawlessness and violence seen this weekend, he said. Therefore I pledge to area municipalities and area law enforcement agencies and I promise to the people in Horry County and along the Grand Strand that we will bring back hundreds of state officers next year, provided that we are asked by local authorities to do so.
Not all believe the Atlantic Beach Memorial Day BikeFest crowds are to blame, and no connection has been made between any of the shootings and the rally. Atlantic Beach Town Manager William Booker said the shootings are tragic, but doesnt think they were related to the towns annual event.
We had nothing of that magnitude, he said. We had no problems in Atlantic Beach. We had no arrests and we had very few citations ... From our perspective what happened in Myrtle Beach was totally unrelated.
No arrests had been made as of Monday evening. Last year, Myrtle Beach had two homicides. To see three in one night was concerning, Knipes said.
Its a very high and alarming number, he said.
Jamie Williams, 28, of Ladson, and Devonte Dantzler, 21, and Sandy Gaddis Barnwell, 22, both of Summerville, were pronounced dead by Horry County Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler on Saturday. Fowler said all three died from trauma to vital organs due to gunshot wounds sustained during a shooting at Bermuda Sands Resort on 1st Avenue North.
Officers responded at about 11 p.m. Saturday to a reported large fight outside the Bermuda Sands. Three shots were fired before police arrived, striking Keith Williams. As police were providing medical attention to Keith Williams, those involved in the fight moved to the second floor of Bermuda Sands, according to the release.
After about five minutes, officers said the shooter then went to the second floor of the hotel and fired several shots at Jamie Williams, Dantzler and Barnwell, who police say were involved in the fight.
Police believe the shooter fled the rear of the hotel.
Jamie Williams and Dantzler died immediately, and Barnwell and Keith Williams were taken to Grand Strand with gunshot wounds. Barnwell was pronounced dead at the hospital.
On Saturday, another person was injured in a shooting at 6th Avenue South and Ocean Boulevard, two were injured in a shooting at 8th Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard and one was shot in the leg at the Fountain Bleu Motel at 7th Avenue North and Flagg Street.
On Sunday, two were injured in a shooting at the Wave Rider Resort at 1600 South Ocean Boulevard.
Knipes said every available officer was working this weekend. He said changes to enforcement in years ahead have not yet been discussed.
Its too early to tell, he said Monday. Its not over. We havent looked at stats or sat down and discussed things. Its not just a police issue, but a community issue that will have to be discussed over time.
Most of the crowd is not on bikes, Knipes said. They could be here because of the BikeFest, but its hard to tell.
Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2014/05/26/3469158/weekend-of-violence-has-myrtle.html?sp=%2F99%2F205%2F&ihp=1#storylink=cpy
The little festival is better known, and advertised as Black Bike Week.
The mayor’s ass should be in a sling for this.
“Edge said additional law enforcement assistance should be used next year.”
So they’re gonna host Black Bike Week again? They’re fools!
Speaking as someone who lives here in Myrtle Beach things where pretty wild.
Black Bike week is backed by the NAACP.
I'd think it would hurt Myrtle Beach all season, when families find somewhere more pleasant to spend a day or a vacation.
I wandered through Myrtle Beach for the first time in 30 years one afternoon last summer. I will never go back.
Like others have said, go to Hilton Head, not MB
But it is racist to point out that trouble usually follows large gatherings of blacks.
Didn’t there use to be a Harley Bike Week a week before the Black Bike Week? I read a few years ago Myrtle Beach passed some draconian laws aimed at the Harley riders and they quit coming.
Is there a South Carolina Ping List?
In order to ban the black bike week, MB banned both that & the Harley event.
FWIW, black bikers mostly ride crotch rockets.
Anyway, as noted, go to Hilton Head Island for a better locale & a much safer stay. Go in the off season when prices, weather, crowds, & traffic are much milder.
Links to the two most telling videos on YouTube:
Myrtle Beach deaths: Fighting, gunshots heard on Youtube video
A couple years ago, I pulled a photo gig for the MB marathon. The night before, I drove the main drag and saw all the boarded up hotels.
I also dropped my speed light on some concrete. A small plastic piece broke off but the flash works solid. It is about 10 years old.
I have no real desire to go to MB. It was fun up until the late 80s or so for me.
Yup. Managed by upchuck
The Harley Riders sued the city and won.
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