Hours after a 16-year-old was killed Sunday, the Newberry Police Department said officers responded to another shooting nearby where three more teenagers died.
During a news conference, Police Chief Kevin Goodman wouldn’t say if the shootings were connected, but said the four victims knew each other.
“In my understanding, (they) were in the same circle,” Goodman said.
The three teens killed in the second shooting ranged in age from 15 to 19 years old, according to Goodman.
“Very disheartening to see these young people have such a short life,” Newberry County Coroner Laura Kneece said.
The families of all four victims have been notified, according to Kneece. But she said her office is not making teenagers’ names public until getting “absolute confirmation.”
The two shootings occurred in a span of about 15 hours in the Wise Street area of Newberry. That’s near U.S. 76/Wilson Road and the Newberry Speedway, about 2 miles from downtown Newberry.
Shortly after midnight, Goodman said police responded to a reported shooting in the 700 block of Wise Street.
Officers found a 16-year-old male had been shot and he was taken by EMS to local hospital where he died from his injuries, according to Goodman.
At about 2:50 p.m., officers were still investigating the 16-year-old’s death when they received calls about another shooting in the Wise Street area, the police chief said.
Officers responding to the 2400 block of Elanor Street found three more teenagers who were shot and also died from their injuries, according to Goodman. The two crime scenes are a tenth of a mile apart.
No other injuries were reported.
While there have been shooting reported in the Wise Street area in the past, Goodman said none of the previous incidents are of “this magnitude.”
There was no word on a shooter, or shooters, or a motive for the gunfire in either incident.
On Sunday, Goodman didn’t know if the shootings were gang related and said information about who pulled the triggers was not available at the time.
No arrests have been reported by police, which continues to investigate the shootings along with the coroner’s office, the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
School District response
Police did not say if there is an ongoing threat to the community, but “out of an abundance of caution,” Newberry High School shifted to an E learning day Monday, according to Newberry County School District.
Only the high school will have virtual classes Monday, and other Newberry County schools will meet in person as scheduled, the school district said. Extra law enforcement officers will be stationed at area schools out of precaution because of the recent shootings, the sheriff’s office said.
All classes will meet at the scheduled time via Google Meet, and students who can’t access the internet are asked to call the school at 803-321-2621. Additionally, all after school activities at Newberry High School are cancelled.
“There has been no direct threat toward a school,” the sheriff’s office said. “The Newberry City Police Department is leading an intensive investigation. Please pray for the families and for our community.”
Anyone with information on the shootings is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 888-CRIME-SC or submit an online tip.