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Bermuda Sands Resort guests gather on balconies overlooking the one where two bodies were found late Saturday. / Janet Blackmon Morgan, The Sun News via AP

Memorial Day weekend in South Carolina came with terrible tragedy as three people were killed and a fourth person wounded in shootings at an oceanfront motel in Myrtle Beach and along the beach's new boardwalk.

According to local reports, someone opened fire late Saturday night at one of the state's most popular tourist destinations, in front of crowds of people.

The first shooting occurred at about 9:30 p.m., Myrtle Beach police spokesman Capt. David Knipes told The Sun News. Then, while officers were still investigating the first shooting, another took place at about 11 p.m. at Bermuda Sands Resort, some seven blocks away.

"We've got detectives working on it around the clock," Knipes told the Associated Press on Sunday. "We don't have any suspects in custody."

Knipes would not say whether detectives have determined a motive for the shooting, but said it didn't appear to be random.

The victims were Devonte Dantzler, 21, of Summerville; Sandy Gaddis, 22, of Summerville; and Jamie Williams, 28, of Ladson, Horry County deputy coroner Darris Fowler said. The fourth victim remains hospitalized.

Shortly after the shootings, officers draped towels over the balcony of a breezeway just outside the doors to the rooms of the motel to shield two of the bodies from people on nearby Ocean Boulevard, AP reported.

Jamont Samuel told WPDE NewsChannel 15 he saw one of the victims run around the corner right after he was shot.

"The dude who got hit I mean it was just crazy," Samuel told the station. "He ran around the corner and I guess his adrenaline was pumping. You could see where he eventually fell and collapsed."

Moments after the shooting, hundreds of people in the area ran in all directions, WPDE reported.

"I was scared to death. I just took off and started running," Debra Lovack, another witness, told the station.

George Covington told The Sun News that several people were fighting on the sidewalk in front of the motel minutes before the shooting.

"At first, everyone was standing around to see who was going to win the fight," Covington told the newspaper. "Then they started shooting and everyone scattered. They started to come back and then I just heard (several gunshots), then everything was quiet."

Covington has stayed at the hotel several times in the 15 years he has visited Myrtle Beach for the annual Atlantic Beach BikeFest, which began Friday.

"For a place this nice, to have this happen to them, it's a tragedy," he told The Sun News of Bermuda Sands. "It's stupid. And what they were fighting about, I don't know."

Police told the AP that they typically deal with motorcycle wrecks and lesser offenses during the bike rally, but violence is unusual.

Knipes said Myrtle Beach had just two homicides in all of 2013.

"We hope to put a lot of work into this and get it solved real quick," he told WPDE.



Copyright 2014

Read the original story: 3 dead, 1 hurt in shooting at Myrtle Beach motel

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