Crime & Public Safety

11-year-old girl shot by stray bullet while playing with friends in Beaufort area, report says

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

Witnesses say 10 to 15 gun shots were heard in the moments before an 11-year-old girl was struck by a stray bullet while playing video games with friends about 11 p.m. Saturday, a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report says.

A man also received a gunshot wound during the shooting in Burton that sent stray bullets into multiple homes and vehicles parked on the street. The suspects were aiming at the vehicle the man was in, a Sheriff’s Office release says.

Both the man and child were transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital Saturday night. They were later transferred to Medical University of South Carolina Charleston.

Maj. Bob Bromage said there were no updates Monday on the conditions of either victim. He also said no one has been arrested for the shooting.

The report says the girl and her mom were visiting friends at the house on Lawing Drive. The children and adults were gathered in the living room when two bullets whizzed through the mobile home walls with a puff of smoke.

After the shots rang out, the girl dropped to the floor in front of her mom. A neighbor could hear the screams coming from the house and rushed to help.

Witness accounts say a vehicle responsible for the shooting left the area before police arrived.

The small residential street was quiet Sunday afternoon. Bullet holes were obvious on several vehicles sitting in front of mobile homes on the dead-end road.

Thirty-six-year-old Clinton Robinson was shot and killed during an April shooting on Laurel Street East — about 1.7 miles away from Lawing Drive.

In September 2018, 19-year-old Deontay Alston’s body was found with gunshot wounds about 3.6 miles away from Lawing Drive on Castle Rock Road.

Second Saturday Shooting

Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office also is investigating an unrelated shooting that killed Shalonda Johnson Saturday night in Lobeco.

Andre Demond Mitchell, 41, of Beaufort was arrested Sunday on charges of murder and possession of a firearm during a violent crime for the 11:30 p.m. shooting.

Mitchell remained detained in Beaufort County Detention Center Monday.

Deputies received a report that Mitchell shot and killed Johnson following an argument with relatives at a residence on Polite Family Lane.

Mitchell remained detained at Beaufort County Detention Sunday. Both the Burton and Lobeco shootings are under investigation. Anyone with information may call investigator Brian Abell at 843-255-3436 or Crimestoppers of the Lowcountry at 843-554-1111.

Recent Fatal Shootings

Shalonda Johnson is the seventh victim of gun violence in Beaufort County in 2019, according to Beaufort County Coroner’s Office data. The coroner’s office lists the below deaths as gunshot wound homicides.

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