DARLINGTON, S.C. (WBTW) — The Darlington area has seen an increase in shootings this year, according to a map compiled and updated by News13.
There have been at least nine shootings in the Darlington area, at least two of which have been fatal.
Darlington Police Chief Kelvin Washington confirmed that the number of shots fired calls are up compared to previous years, but said that most Pee Dee-area departments have also seen an increase.
“We have beefed up patrols within the city and are using all resources available to us to combat these crimes,” Washington said in an email to News13.
He said he does not have a theory on why the number of shootings is on the rise.
Washington said any shooting that injures a person is a priority for the department, but that it sees all calls about guns being fired illegally as important.
On Jan. 7, 22-year-old Shanice Williams was killed after being shot while leaving work on Oak Street.
A month later, 17-year-old Kwelik Bacote was killed after being shot in a parking lot on Governor Williams Highway. Five suspects have been charged in connection to the case, which Washington called “children having temper tantrums with guns” while addressing the incident during a press conference.
Those charged with Bacote’s death include 20-year-old Jalin Mullins, 18-year-old Correl Littles, 21-year-old Giabeon James, 22-year-old Darius Mack and 19-year-old Jacques Mullins. Jalin Mullins was charged with murder and attempted murder. Littles was charged with two counts of attempted murder.
Darlington had one murder in 2019, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2019 Crime in the United States report, the most recent publication available.
Nearby, in Florence, there have been at least seven shootings. Two of those have been fatal.
The Hartsville area has seen five shootings, with three of those fatal.
By the end of January, there had already been 30 shootings in the Myrtle Beach and Pee Dee areas. By March 15, that number had jumped to at least 68 total shootings, 24 of which were fatal.
Washington asks for anyone who has information on the Darlington shootings to call (843) 398-4026 or 1-800-CRIMESTOPPERS.
A map of area shootings is below. Some markers are extremely close together and have to be zoomed in on in order to be distinguished from each other. Shootings are listed even if no one was injured in the incident.
Fatal shootings are in red. Click on a marker for details about the shooting. The map is updated daily with the most recent information.