MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — June has been the busiest month for gun violence in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee areas, according to a crime analysis by News13.
There were 38 shootings last month in News13’s coverage area — which includes Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Horry, Marion and Marlboro counties in South Carolina, along with Robeson and Scotland counties in North Carolina.
There have been at least 197 shootings in that area so far in 2021, averaging more than one a day. Most of the shootings have occurred in the Pee Dee region, specifically Darlington and Florence counties.
Of the 181 days between Jan. 1 and June 30, there were 111 days with a shooting. In June, 73.3% of days had at least one shooting. The month with the lowest percentage of days with gun violence has been April, when half of the days had a shooting.
The most violent day this year has been March 25, when there were five shootings.
At least 17 people were killed and 24 injured from gun violence in June. That does not include suicides.
Among the shootings in June were the deaths of 19-year-old Ja’Leel Stephens and 21-year-old Kanon Cook Melvin, who were killed in Myrtle Beach in what authorities have described as a drug deal gone bad. Brady Gilcrease, Brandon Hembree and Daniel Hembree have since been arrested and charged with murder.
Also among the deaths is 34-year-old Branden Harshaw, who authorities said was shot and killed by 23-year-old Chancey Rashon Deval Hickman after Harshaw asked Hickman to leave the business. A verbal fight between the two then turned physical, according to arrest warrants.
Hickman is charged with voluntary manslaughter and for the possession of a weapon during a violent crime after he shot Harshaw “in a sudden heat of passion without legal provocation.”
The shooting happened inside of the Waffle House, but neither man was an employee there, according to authorities.
Fatal shootings are marked in red. Non-fatal shootings are marked in blue. Click on a marker for more details about a shooting. Some markers are extremely close together and have to be zoomed to see. The map is updated daily with the most recent information.