HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The South Carolina Department of Revenue has taken steps to revoke the alcohol licenses for a Socastee bar that was the scene of a deadly shooting last month, documents show.
The department said in an Oct. 25 letter to the owner of Barfield’s Bar and Grille, located at 4763 Frontage Road, that surveillance video obtained by police shows a bartender giving a gun to the person who allegedly was involved in the shooting that killed Starquan Washington, 23, of Longs, and wounded another person.
Kvon Tyrese Lawhorn, 24, was arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime in connection with the Oct. 18 shooting. He is being held without bond in the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.
The Department of Revenue’s letter said a gun believed to be the one used in the shooting was recovered from a “brushy area” behind Barfield’s and that surveillance video shows the suspect “discarding a firearm in the same area.”
According to the letter, the bartender told police that the suspected shooter was a regular at the bar and that it is “routine practice” to “secure the individual’s firearm” while inside the bar.
The Department of Revenue’s Letter also notifies the bar owner of the agency’s intent to file an “emergency suspension notice” with the South Carolina Administrative Law Court.
The bar’s owner, Rachael Barfield, replied to a News13 reporter in a text message Tuesday afternoon and said the “whole story has been completely twisted.”
“Our bartender took his gun because we do not allow weapons in our building so he thought he was doing what was right to protect our customers,” Barfield said. “Him ‘giving’ him the gun was when we closed to return his property. If Klockers wouldn’t have stayed open past 2 a.m. none of this would have happened.”
Barfield later defended her business in another statement emailed to News13
“For the 4 years Barfield’s has served Socastee, we have been blessed to have a diverse team and clientele,” Barfield said. “Our team includes parents, former police, bank tellers, cloggers, baseball coaches, and ex military. Our team has created a safe space and has made every effort to curb violence on our property or during business hours. Since moving to our new location we have had security guards pat down customers as they enter our premises because we have a zero tolerance policy for weapons.
“In this case, our security and bar staff felt it appropriate to confiscate a weapon from a customer and return his property at the time of our closing — before 2 a.m. — while the incident occurred nearly 30 minutes after. We have cameras on property to show proof our our safety procedures. It is disheartening that the HCPD has used video evidence of our innocence and misrepresented the facts to point the blame at our team. Our team has been interrogated and cooperated with police in every aspect of this investigation. If our team members had a hand in this tragedy, they would be incarcerated and not allowed to continue to work.”
News13 has also reached out to Horry County police and the owner of Klocker’s Tavern for comment about the incident and the action being taken by the Department of Revenue.
In its letter, the Department of Revenue said the bar “no longer has the reputation for peace and good order” as required by South Carolina law and that “the recent acts of violence indicate that the continued sale of beer, wine, and alcoholic liquor constitute an immediate threat to the public’s health, safety and welfare.”
The letter also says that an Horry County police lieutenant provided the Department of Revenue with an affidavit after the shooting that said law enforcement had responded to the bar numerous times since Jan. 1 to investigate “noise complaints, assault, shots fired, narcotics violations, weapons violations, fights, and homicide.”
The affidavit also said the bar’s owners have failed to “mitigate the repeated acts” of violence at the bar.
News13 has reported on multiple incidents of violence throughout the years in the area near where the deadly shooting happened.
One person went to the hospital with a gunshot wound in January after a “large fight” and shooting in the area between Barfield’s and Klocker’s Tavern, according to Horry County police. The person’s injuries were not life-threatening.
One person was hurt by glass after a shooting at Klockers in June 2022, and in June 2018, the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office filed a petition to close Klocker’s, the Remedies Bar and Grill and Audry’s Lounge for at least a year because of multiple shootings and public-nuisance complaints.
Two of the shootings happened at Audry’s Lounge and were deadly. Larry Wilson Jr. died after being shot three times in the chest on March 24, 2018, and Ickel T. Stanley was shot to death during a fight on July 30, 2015.
In July 2019, Klocker’s and Remedies were allowed to reopen early after having been declared a nuisance business and placed on probation for two years. The agreement with the solicitor’s office allowed the bars to reopen with shorter hours and new safety features in place.
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Dennis Bright is a Digital Producer at News13. He joined the team in May 2021. Dennis is a West Virginia native and a graduate of Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Follow Dennis on, Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, and read more of his work here.