WATCH: Darlington County sheriff, police chief address recent spike in shootings


DARLINGTON CO, S.C. (WBTW) – Darlington County Sheriff James Hudson says since Jan. 5, Darlington County has had nine homicides.

Out of those nine murders, seven arrests have been made and two cases are still under investigation. One possible could have been a suicide, he says.

Hudson announced Friday that a four-person homicide team that’s never been needed before in the county.

Law enforcement authorities are working hard with every agency in the state, Hudson said. He asked for patience and help from the community while they work to make sure everyone is safe. 

“It may be safe to say that you may know who some of these people are,” Hudson said to the community in a press conference.

After two homicides in two days, and then a third in the county just hours later, the mayor of Darlington invited the public to pray together for the city on Friday. Mayor Curtis Boyd posted on social media, asking for 15 to 30 minutes of time for people to gather on the public square.

“Our families, city, nation, and world are being strongly attacked. I ask that you please come stand and pray with me Friday,” Boyd posted.

On Tuesday, 24-year-old Rahiem Fortune was shot and killed in Darlington. Just three hours later, a 16-year-old was shot and killed near Hartsville. Vivian Bess was killed at Kane Street on Monday, according to Darlington Police Department Chief Kelvin Washington.

Shootings are listed even if no one was injured in the incident. For some shootings, a specific address was not provided by police, and the marker will show a city center or an approximate area as the location of the incident.

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