Crime & Courts

‘Worlds Dumbest Cops’ Mistake Gunfire for Fireworks in S.C. Lowcountry

“There was screaming and panicking everywhere.”

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The Port Royal Police Department (PRPD) failed an entire neighborhood within the South Carolina Lowcountry on Halloween night — demonstrating once again that while officers are sworn to “protect and serve,” they have no obligation to safeguard citizens outside of their custody.

On October 31, 2023, trick-or-treaters were caught in the crossfires of an impetuous shootout that — dare we say — appears to have been gang-related. It happened within the newly developed Shadow Moss neighborhood just minutes away from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) on Parris Island.

“There was screaming and panicking everywhere,” said one neighbor who chose to remain anonymous. “Moms and kids were running for their lives. I stood in my driveway and ushered people into my house. We hid around forty people in the living room.”

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Neighbors called 9-1-1 at exactly 8:56 p.m., within minutes of both semi and fully-automatic weaponry ceasing fire on Saluda Way and Chauga Street. The gunmen involved in the shootout were likely unaware that motion-activated surveillance cameras had recorded their crime — which included a careless getaway on foot.

“My shoe! Kai, my shoe,” exclaimed one teenager who’s bubble-styled sandal was caught in a wrought iron fence while hopping it alongside four other suspects. The shoe in question — along with a matching shoe and pile of shell casings — was located by neighbors the following morning. 

Yes, you read that right. An open-and-shut criminal investigation — addled with forensic and video evidence — was conducted by eye-witnesses in place of anyone from PRPD.

Sergeant Marlon Green Jr. appears to be the only officer dispatched by PRPD following reports of shots fired. At approximately 9:03 p.m., motion-activated surveillance cameras recorded his unmarked vehicle entering the neighborhood without emergency headlights or sirens on. 

(Click to View)

Marlon Green Jr. on duty with the Port Royal Police Department. (Via: Facebook)

Residents told FITSNews that Green never left the confines of his SUV while nonchalantly canvassing the neighborhood. At approximately 9:11 p.m., within eight minutes of his arrival, Green reportedly spoke with one resident and informed them, “it was probably just someone shooting off fireworks or something.” 

According to his LinkedIn profile, Green served 17 years with the U.S. Marine Corps before joining PRPD in mid-2020. Come this particular evening, he allegedly refused to run a license plate number — as “no one saw the shooting” — and exited the neighborhood within 12 minutes of entering.

“A second officer arrived to pick up his family in a patrol car,” the anonymous resident added. “His children were hiding inside with my friends. He told us it was just fireworks and left.”

Unlike PRPD, eye-witnesses applied all five senses at the crime scene. They took to the streets and located six shell casings scattered across the pavement of Saluda Way. PRPD officers were then called back to the neighborhood and purportedly “cleared” the area within thirty to forty-five minutes. 

Sometime within the night, motion-activated surveillance cameras recorded a white sedan returning to the evidence-rich crime scene. Residents believe the driver and passenger were combing the area for ballistics — and shoes — overlooked by investigators.

(Click to View)

The “crime scene” approximately thirteen hours later. (Via: Provided)

After calling 9-1-1 for a third time on the morning of November 1, residents went so far as to identify a potential suspect on Facebook. He’s listed as a Lowcountry native bearing the same name yelped on surveillance footage more than once … “Kai.”

FITSNews was provided a link to his profile and found him posing in a white sedan matching the vehicle recorded at the crime scene. His online friends include teenagers touting affiliation with the “C-Block” gang — including one individual flaunting automatic handguns on his public profile.

While it remains unclear as to whether or not “C-Block” was affiliated with the Halloween shooting, it’s safe to presume that Kai and company are not fireworks’ salesmen.

For a better understanding of PRPD’s response across Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, we contacted chief Alan Beach for a copy of the individual incident reports. He failed to respond to our email sent on Nov. 9, 2023 — six days before this articles publishing.

The unfortunate reality is that police officers have no constitutional duty to care for anyone outside of their official custody — a “fundamental principle of American law” made evident in case after case after case ruling. And if there’s no obligation to protecting or serving, then what’s the point?

If you know of incidents similar to this one in your community, please reach out to our media outlet. We are not only committed to telling your story — but dedicated to holding our public servants accountable.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Andrew Fancher (Travis Bell)

Andrew Fancher is a Lone Star Emmy award-winning journalist from Dallas, Texas. Cut from a bloodline of outlaws and lawmen alike, he was the first of his family to graduate college which was accomplished with honors. Got a story idea or news tip for Andy? Email him directly and connect with him socially across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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2 comments

Alex, Not Murdaugh Top fan November 16, 2023 at 9:32 am

I’m thinking Mr T.

Reply
Amanda Williams Top fan November 16, 2023 at 1:07 pm

Great writing Andy. Sad state of affairs but thanks for making it public.

Reply

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