Shots were again exchanged on Hilton Head Island early Thursday, less than two weeks after an 8-year-old boy was fatally shot in crossfire during an unrelated shoot-out.
A group of people in unit D6 of the Cordillo Courts apartment complex at 104 Cordillo Parkway told investigators they shot back after an unidentified man shot at the apartment from the parking lot at about 2:30 a.m., according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.
It is unclear how many shots were fired or how many people were in the apartment when deputies arrived. None of them was injured, and deputies found no suspect at the scene.
But about an hour later, deputies were called to nearby Springwood Villas, 36 Deallyon Ave., where they found a 24-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his lower torso.
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He refused to answer any questions.
The man, whose name has not been released, was taken to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
"It is certainly a possibility being considered that the gunshot victim is connected to the Cordillo Courts shooting; however, we are dealing with a lack of cooperation right now, which has not yet allowed us to definitively connect the incidents," Sheriff's Office Spokeswoman Sgt. Robin McIntosh said.
Investigators are searching for a motive in the shooting. McIntosh said deputies hope residents will call and "shed some light on the events that led up to and included the shooting."
TOWN OFFICIALS REACT
Town officials said Thursday they were shocked by the news of the shooting and were at a loss as to how to address gun violence on the island.
"This is very disturbing, and it's terrible, and we can't have this kind of thing," Mayor Drew Laughlin said by phone Thursday after being told of the incident by a reporter.
"The bottom line is people need to be safe on Hilton Head Island. I personally have talked to the sheriff and solicitor and asked what we can do to assist them and stood ready to do that.
"We do support the solicitor's career-criminal program to get them off the street, and we support them and the sheriff as much as we can," Laughlin said. "I frankly think they do a very good job. Why we've had these two recent incidents, I don't know."
Councilman Bill Harkins, chairman of the town's Public Safety Committee, intends to invite Sheriff P.J. Tanner and 14th Circuit Court Solicitor Duffie Stone to the committee's next meeting to discuss ways to bolster law enforcement and speed prosecution of repeat felons.
"When shootings like this occur, it's well worth our time and effort to talk further with the sheriff and ask, 'What aren't we doing that we should be? And what could we be doing better to reduce these numbers of unfortunate shootings?' " Harkins said. "There's no clear, quick fix, but it's worth getting input from the public and law enforcement to make this island safer."
Last week, three men were charged in connection with the death of 8-year-old Khalil Singleton, who was killed Sept. 1 while playing in his grandmother's yard on Allen Road, off of Marshland Road. Tyrone Robinson and Aaron Scott Young Jr. were charged with the boy's murder. Also, Young Jr. and his father, Aaron Scott Young Sr., were charged with conspiring to kill Robinson over a drug-related feud. All three men are awaiting bond hearings.