COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Four people were charged with manslaughter in a shooting last month at an illegal concert in South Carolina that killed a 14-year-old girl and hurt 13 other people, North Charleston police said.
The shooting happened when two gangs were at the same vacant lot where a stage was set up and food and drinks were being sold, investigators said.
“They saw each other and they started shooting at each other, not caring who was in between,” North Charleston Deputy Police Chief Ken Hagge said.
Tyquan Cooper, 20; Manqual Horlbeck Jr., 21; Tye Robinson Jr. 19; and Malachi Wigfall, 18, are all charged with manslaughter, 12 counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and possession of a firearm during a violent crime. Jail records didn’t indicate if they had lawyers.
Police aren’t ready to say how many people fired guns that night or how many bullets were shot, but the investigation continues, Hagge said.
“More people are going to go to jail, for sure,” Hagge said at a Thursday news conference.
Ronjanae Smith, 14, was killed. Nine of the 14 people hit by gunfire were women. All of the wounded have been released from the hospital, police said.
“People are tired of it. Law enforcement is tired of it. The community is tired of it,” Hagge said.
The illegal concert was publicized with flyers and included a bar. Hagge said police have concentrated on finding the shooters, but they also plan to investigate the people who organized the party.
Hagge said police consulted with prosecutors before charging the four suspects with manslaughter instead of murder.
Manslaughter typically involves a killing in the heat of passion and carries a prison sentence of two to 30 years. Murder often involves an intention to kill and has a prison sentence of 30 years to life.
Hagge said the charges could be upgraded depending on what is found as the investigation continues.