Sheriff's Office continues investigation of Christmas-Day shooting incidents in Dale

mmcnab@beaufortgazette.comDecember 26, 2013 

US NEWS HIALEAH-SHOOTING 5 MI

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More information about two Christmas-day shootings in Dale -- including a description of a suspect -- was made public Thursday by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, which continues its investigations.

Two people were injured in the shootings, which occurred between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. in Dale, according to the Sheriff's Office.

In the first shooting, a 22-year-old man was wounded when an unknown black man opened fire with an automatic weapon at a party at a club off Spann Circle at about 1 a.m., according the Sheriff's Office. Deputies arrived to find more than 30 cars driving away from the area and more than 50 people still at the party, according to a Sheriff's Office report.

The man hosting the party said he did not recognize the shooter, but added he was at the party for several hours before opening fire, according to the report.

Witnesses described the shooter as a black man about 6 feet tall, 170 pounds, with dreadlocks and a beard, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

The injured man was brought to the Sheldon Fire District, 10 miles from the shooting scene, with a gunshot wound to the buttocks. He was then taken to Beaufort Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Four vehicles at the scene were also hit with gunfire, causing about $7,000 in damage, the release said. One of the vehicles, a Mercedes sedan, had five bullet holes in it; three windows of a Nissan sedan also were shot out.

Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Col. Bill Neill said the bullets recovered from the first shooting were believed to be fired from an automatic rifle, but investigators also found several pistol shell casings in the driveway of the home, according to a Sheriff's Office report.

Investigators were still working at the Spann Circle shooting when they heard gunshots coming from Keans Neck Road at about 2 a.m. They were soon notified that a second gunshot victim had been brought to the Sheldon Fire District, the release said.

A deputy was at the district investigating the Spann Circle shooting when the shooting victim, a 24-year-old woman, was brought there, according to a Sheriff's Office report.

The woman was shot in her lower back while riding in a car on Keans Neck Road. Investigators later found shell casings along the road just over three miles from the Spann Circle shooting, the report said. Neill said the casings found were from a pistol.

The woman and others in the car said she was shot by a black man driving a brown truck, who fired several shots into the car, the release said.

The woman was taken to Beaufort Memorial Hospital and later transferred to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston for treatment. She was listed in fair condition Thursday, hospital spokeswoman Dawn Brazell said.

Neill said it would be premature to say if the shootings were connected, but added it was unusual that two shootings happened so close in time and proximity.

An investigation into the shootings continues. Anyone with information on the suspects or the brown truck described in the second shooting is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 843-524-2777 or S.C. Crime Stoppers at 1-888-274-6372.

Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.

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