Union county, South Carolina was the site of a massive Memorial Day weekend “house party” that turned violent on Saturday evening – resulting in two people being shot and killed and at least five others sustaining gunshot wounds.
According to a release from the Union county sheriff’s office, the incident occurred on the evening of Saturday May 23, 2020 near Dover Road just off of S.C. Highway 114 – approximately three miles north of the town of Union, S.C.
“A large block party turned violent when attendees opened fire on one another,” the sheriff’s release stated.
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Sheriff’s office investigators and agents with the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) are handling the inquiry into the shooting, according to the release. Anyone with information that could help that investigation is encouraged to call the sheriff’s office at 864-429-1611 or the local Crimestoppers office at 864-427-0800.
According to police, the first call related to the house party came in at around 7:49 p.m. EDT on Saturday.
Deputies who responded to that call reportedly discovered as many as 300 cars along the roadside of S.C. Highway 114 and nearby S.C. Highway 9 – including some vehicles reportedly parked in the roadway. Police estimate as many as 1,000 people were in attendance at the party.
Several cars were cleared from the roadway by tow trucks, but the party was not broken up.
Several hours later – shortly before 10:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday – witnesses reported hearing gunshots from a vehicle that was passing by the party, prompting party-goers to return fire at the vehicle.
According to reporter Melanie Palmer of WSPA TV 7 (Greenville/ Spartanburg, S.C.), panic ensued – resulting in a woman being trampled by fleeing party-goers. Her condition is unknown, however Union county coroner William Holcombe confirmed that 21-year-old Curtis Lamont Bomar of Spartanburg, S.C. and 17-year-old Jabbrie Brandon of Union died of gunshot wounds sustained during the melee. Bomar died at the scene of the shooting, while Brandon succumbed to his wounds at a nearby hospital.
Two individuals were arrested in connection with the incident – 26-year-old Shaquille O’Bryant Barber of Jonesville, S.C. and 35-year-old Darnell Deandre Beacham of Buffalo, S.C. As of this writing, Barber has been charged with disorderly conduct and unlawfully carrying a handgun while Beacham has been charged with disorderly conduct.
It is not immediately clear whether either Barber or Beacham were involved in the shooting. Multiple weapons were reportedly discovered on the scene and additional arrests and charges are likely forthcoming.
SLED spokesman Tommy Crosby confirmed the agency was providing crime scene support to Union county deputies.
In addition to SLED, officers with the Union, S.C. public safety department, the Cherokee county sheriff’s office, the S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) and S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) assisted in responding to the incident.
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