Shooting In South Carolina Town Leaves 1 Dead, 7 Others Hurt

YEMASSEE, S.C. (AP) — Police were searching for suspects after a shooting left one person dead and seven others injured — including several children — in the small town of Yemassee.

The shooting happened early Sunday morning, when an argument began and then escalated to gunfire, Police Chief Gregory Alexander said.

At least 20 shots were fired, striking eight people, including a 33-year-old man who died of his injuries, WTOC-TV reported. Others injured were a 31-year-old, a 22-year-old, two 14-year-olds, two 12-year-olds and an 8-year-old.

He said multiple fights broke out and then one person opened fire. That led to others starting to shoot as well, with three or four people shooting guns, Alexander said.

Three of the children wounded were caught in the crossfire because they were riding in the backseat of a vehicle that was shot multiple times, he said.

The victims were taken to hospitals with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, authorities said. Among the most seriously injured was the 12 year old, who underwent surgery at a hospital, Alexander said.

The police chief promised there won't be “any rocks unturned" in the investigation, that that police will do what needs to be done to solve the crime.

“We’ve got to hunt them down, and we’re going to do just that," he vowed at a Monday news conference.

“The folks that we think did the shooting do not live in town,” he added.

The victims were not all from Yemassee, and some were from surrounding areas, Alexander said.

The shooting was a reminder to would-be criminals that once someone begins shooting, innocent victims can easily be hurt, he said.

“You can’t recall a bullet. When you pull that trigger out of foolishness, you can’t recall that gun,” Alexander said. “You don’t know where that bullet is going to, you don’t know who it is going to injure, who it will kill.”

Yemasee is a community of about 1,200 people about 60 miles (97 kilometers) west of Charleston.