Coroner identifies man fatally shot near mobile home park in Walterboro

Two days after authorities called for an end to gang-related violence in Colleton County, a man was fatally shot Saturday evening in Walterboro.

Stephon Young, 24, died at the scene of 601 Francis St. about 6:35 pm., Colleton County Rich Harvey said.

It’s unknown how many times he was shot. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

Police released little information about what occurred or whether the incident could be connected to gang activity.

Young’s body was found before 7 p.m. in front of the Pinebrook Mobile Home Park at Francis and Crosby streets, according to authorities who responded to the scene.

The location is on Walterboro’s east side, just within city limits, so the Walterboro Public Safety Department was handling the initial investigation.

Public safety spokeswoman Elizabeth Boineau confirmed that the man had died, but she said she could provide no further details because the investigation was in its early stages.

On Thursday, Walterboro Public Safety Chief Otis Rhodes and Colleton County Sheriff Andy Strickland called for the community’s help in stemming a recent uptick in gang violence.

A 34-year-old mother of three was fatally shot Tuesday outside her home on Westside Lane, which is in unincorporated Colleton County west of Interstate 95. The location is well outside Walterboro city limits.

A man, 28, also was wounded.

Authorities said the woman, Rebecca Marshelle Dewitte, was unloading groceries when she got caught in the crossfire during a gunbattle between two groups feuding over drug-dealing territory. The sheriff and the police chief vowed to make an extra effort to find Dewitte’s killer.

Walterboro has struggled with unsuspecting residents getting caught in gangs’ turf wars in the past.

The situation was at its gravest in 2007, but the problem persisted even after violent crime peaked.

Two adults and a toddler were killed in a drive-by shooting in November 2009, prompting an intense police effort to root out crime.

Raids by local authorities and the State Law Enforcement Division that targeted gang members helped quell shootings in 2010. In 2011, the city reported 50 violent crimes, compared with 118 in 2009.

Walterboro police officers continue to develop intelligence on gang members, according to a city crime report released this year. The data is stored on the computer program Gang.net that’s maintained by SLED.

Boineau said SLED agents might get also get involved with the investigation into Saturday’s incident, but she declined to say why.

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