MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A Socastee business is concerned for its safety and that of its customers after witnessing illegal activity daily on its lot.

Pyramid Rehearsal Studios sits in the same lot as an art studio and cake shop. The owners of those stores have claimed to have witnessed multiple drug transactions, along with instances of prostitution, domestic violence and fighting.

Chris Jones, the owner of Back-End Investments, said he has been able to get most of this activity on video.

“I get calls from my tenants regularly saying something’s going on next door, check your cameras and call the police,” Jones said.

Jones said weapons have fired off into the parking lot and he’s discovered drug paraphernalia on the ground.

David Edwards, the owner of Pyramid Rehearsal Studios, said he rents out each room to a musician and only allows them to use the studios for recording purposes only.

However, Jones said Edwards’ tenants are sleeping and living on the property even though it is zoned as a commercial use.

“I have videos where tenants were coming out of the studio with mattresses and zoning did come out and they did catch some with mattresses, but since than there has not been much pressure from the city,” Jones said.

Edwards said he was not aware of people living on his property recently, but it is something that has happened before. Which lead to them checking in on tenants every two weeks to make sure tenants were not violating the rules.

In a recent police report from Aug. 11, they were able to re-watch an incident that occurred earlier that day where multiple men got into an altercation and one of the men pulled out a gun in the parking in front of customers — including children.

“I know that locally they are trying to help with the issue, but it comes from the top down, this needs to start from the top and work its way down in order to finally to stop bad attendance next door,” Jones said.

Jones added that customers and their children are worried for their safety every time they visit the local shops across from Pyramid Studios.

“They come out here and they see a gun, they come on here and see drug activity,” Jones said.

Jones said he has emailed numerous agencies including the Horry County Police, Horry County Planning and Zoning and Horry County Government for the last two years to get this issue under control, but the process has been slow.

“The whole point of buying this building next door was to bring small businesses back to the area. I have done that and now they do not feel safe. I have done everything I possibly can, and I have exhausted all resources. I feel kind of helpless right now,” Jones said.

Horry County police said they cannot provide updates on an investigation as it could endanger the investigation itself, but they are aware of Jones’ claims.

Planning and zoning referred to police for comment.

Jones said he has had to release tenants out of their leases because they were too afraid of what could happen in the future.

“My worst fear is the next time I call the police department, it will be because someone, a child, was brutally hurt,” Jones said.

After News13’s report, Edwards said he had to take legal action.

“I took 17 people out of the building in one day,” Edwards said.

Edwards said he discovered people smoking marijuana and living in the studios even though it’s zoned as a commercial property. He also found busted windows as well as alcohol and drug paraphernalia on the ground.

“We had some bad apples that were coming out into the parking lot and making noises and yelling and hollering,” Edwards said. “Those people were forced to leave also.”

“Last week, we had a commotion in the parking lot, and when I questioned everybody there, the one person that we are removing was the culprit that got involved because his temper is terrible,” Edwards said.

Edwards evicted multiple tenants from his building, including the one seen in the video with a gun.

“I do not tolerate anything other than just the quietness that we need, because we are in amongst other tenants there in the building and across the parking lot from us,” Edwards said. “We must make sure that we keep a safe environment for everybody.”

Edwards said he’s been working with lawyers to restructure their lease agreements. They will also start providing security and are working on posting more warning signs in the building.