Myrtle Beach visitor: the city doesn’t ‘have control’

Grand Strand Crime

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The women’s bathroom at a bar on Myrtle Beach’s Ocean Boulevard turned into a man’s shelter from gunfire early Sunday morning.

Jonathan Steele, a programmer for a radio station in Detroit, was in town to interview Doc Antle, a zookeeper featured in the Netflix series “Tiger King.” 

Steele was on Facebook Live after getting drinks Saturday night when a passer-by reported gunshots. The video shows him running from the second shooting in downtown Myrtle Beach in two weekends. 

“At that moment, I’m just hoping that I’m safe in the bathroom,” Steele said. “I’m hoping that whoever is doing this isn’t some terrorist attack or anything like that and they just want to kill people.” 

As of Sunday morning, police said ‘several’ people were injured after reports of gunshots at 12th Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard. They have not announced any arrests or motive for the shooting. 

Steele estimates he hid in the women’s bathroom at Hurricane Daiquiris bar for five to 10 minutes. 

“A girl was in there. She didn’t know what was going on, “ according to Steele. “First thing I wanted to assure her was I’m not a creep let me explain to you what’s happening. There’s a shooting. There’s people in and out of here. Lock the door. She immediately says ‘my sisters, my sisters, my sisters’ and I say ‘I think we should stay in here and call the police, but you know it’s your decision.’”

Steele and his friend, Mike Klein, visited Myrtle Beach’s downtown despite hearing about last weekend’s shooting. “I was a little nervous, but we felt like there was a lot of police presence,” Klein said. 

After the shooting and the large crowds — his Facebook video was called “Downtown Myrtle Beach looking like the next hotspot for COVID-19!” — they don’t plan to visit downtown again. 

“I really feel like they don’t have control over this and maybe they opened up too fast,” Klein said. “There’s not enough cities and states that are open right now and I think everyone’s panicking and they’re coming here and it’s crazy … to happen two weeks in a row that’s crazy. “

Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune told News13 on Sunday afternoon the city has 150 “law enforcement agents in town working with us.” 

“The fact they chose to do this violent act despite the immediate presence of police is appalling,” Bethune wrote in a statement. “That, to me, conveys the absolute audacity and total disregard for others.” She also noted “a lot of families and other visitors enjoying their time here responsibly.” 

“We will not tolerate violence and we are resolved to end this unlawful behavior,” Bethune said. 

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