The shooting took place more than an hour after a man was wounded in a shooting at an intersection about seven blocks away.
The second shooting took place around 11 p.m. in front of crowds of tourists at the Bermuda Sands Motel along the beach’s new boardwalk, Myrtle Beach Police Capt. David Knipes said. Officers draped towels over the balcony of a breezeway just outside the doors to the rooms of the motel to shield two of the bodies from people on Ocean Boulevard.
“We’ve got detectives working on it around the clock,” Knipes said Sunday. “We don’t have any suspects in custody.”
Knipes would not say whether detectives have determined a motive in the motel case but said it didn’t appear to be a random shooting. Police couldn’t say whether the two shootings were related.
Those killed were Devonte Dantzler, 21, of Summerville; Sandy Gaddis Barnwell, 22, of Summerville; and Jamie Williams, 28, of Ladson, Horry County deputy coroner Darris Fowler said. The fourth victim, whose condition is not known, was hospitalized.
Witnesses said the shootings happened after a fight in front of the motel.
“We had just come up the stairs when the guy got shot. My husband saw when he fell right in front of our room,” said Megan Sloan, who lives in Salisbury, N.C., and was on vacation.
A police officer quickly knocked on their door, interviewed Sloan and her husband and asked them to stay in their room. They didn’t realize until they turned on the news Sunday morning that three people had died.
“It scared me to death. We tried to get our money back, but they wouldn’t give it back,” Sloan said.
The shooting happened during the annual Atlantic Beach BikeFest about 15 miles away during the Memorial Day weekend. Police say they typically deal with motorcycle wrecks and lesser offenses during the bike rally, but violence is unusual.
Knipes said Myrtle Beach had just two homicides in all of 2013.