‘We can’t afford to have this happen:’ Mayor Bethune says overnight shooting was gang-related

Grand Strand Crime

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Mayor Brenda Bethune held a news conference Sunday in response to the downtown shooting that happened overnight.

Mayor Bethune said she had just finished meeting with MBPD Chief Amy Prock and city managers, when she learned the incident was gang-related.

“It’s another situation very similar to what we had last weekend,” Mayor Bethune said. “These were two rival gangs who brought their dispute into Myrtle Beach to finish fighting it out.”

Several people were injured after the early morning shooting in the area of Ocean Boulevard and 12th Avenue North, MBPD Corporal Tom Vest said Sunday in a news release.

Police were called just after 12:30 a.m. to the area for reports of a shooting, Vest said. Police on scene found several people with injuries.

The mayor said that Chief Prock and her team are still analyzing information. That mayor said council will have executive session to discuss security plans.

“This is something that’s going to take not only management,” Bethune said. “But our businesses, our city council, our police department working together to be really, really tough and enact some very strict guidelines. We can’t afford to have this happen.”

Mayor Bethune said the city can’t risk its millions of responsible visitors for ‘a few bad apples who want to bring their gangs and their trouble to our area.’

She said that plans were still being developed by the police department and that more details will be announced.

“After analyzing the reviewing the video from last night, is that the people who committed the crime… early this morning had absolutely no regard for police presence whatsoever,” Mayor Bethune said. “The shot was fired at 12:35, we had police officers on the scene in nine seconds.”

She added that the disregard for law enforcement is scary for not only Myrtle Beach, but for every community.

“This is not just a Myrtle Beach issue,” she said. “And unfortunately we have to deal with it. It affects us more than it can affect other communities because we thrive off hospitality and tourism.”

Police have not released additional updates on suspects or victims, or more on what led up to the shooting. Count on News13 for updates as more information is released.

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