Deputies didn't know about the block party that drew hundreds last weekend to a community near Moncks Corner until several people there started shooting at each other, a Berkeley County sheriff's official said Tuesday.
When they were called to the Longridge neighborhood, deputies fought to reach the victims because cars and people fleeing from the bullets had created a bottleneck, sheriff's Maj. Rick Ollic said.
They arrived 14 minutes after they were sent to the chaotic scene. Paramedics needed even more time to reach the victims.
By then, six people had been shot. One of them, 19-year-old Ariel Morgan, would later die.
Ollic said deputies typically keep track of events hosted by nightclubs because they're hired to work at them. Though the party at 316 Tish Lane had been widely advertised on social media, he said deputies didn't know about it because it was a private gathering.
He said organizers' own efforts to maintain order at the event also had fallen through.
"My understanding is that they planned to hire security from a private company," Ollic said. "But right before the party, they didn't work out the private security, and they went ahead with the party anyway."
The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office was still working Tuesday to identify suspects in the shooting, Ollic said. It released the names of five wounded people, but detectives gave few details about what might have sparked the gunfire.
Anthony Myers, 18; Tiffany Crosby, 27; John Scott, 21; and Malique Emanuel Lee, 20, suffered bullet wounds, according to an incident report that did not list their hometowns. Trae Diquan McCoy, 19, also had a minor graze wound, Ollic added.
A spokesman for Medical University Hospital said Tuesday that Myers, Crosby and Lee were not at the facility and that he had no information about Scott to release.
The event's organizer, whose family owns the Tish Lane home, had touted it in a flier shared on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Men would be charged $5 and women would pay $2 to enter, but they would have to bring their own alcohol.
One Instagram user expected it to be "the biggest party of the summer."
But the flier also warned that there would be "security on deck," and the organizer, Donald Lamont Richardson Jr., 23, warned people on Twitter not to start any trouble.
"Once again," Richardson tweeted, "if you don't know how to act stay ... home."
But the contracted security officers never were put in place, Ollic said.
Some people who showed up that Friday night, including Morgan, had expressed concern on social media that the party would end in gunfire. It was after midnight when their fears came to fruition.
Posted on Twitter at 12:17 a.m. Saturday, a brief Instagram video showed hundreds dancing in the home's front yard as a hip-hop performer sang lyrics urging women to "wiggle it" and "jiggle it."
The Instagram user later wrote in the video's comments section, though, that the fun "came to an end before we could even get to the next level" because people had "shot the party up."
Richardson called 911 after the shots were fired, according to the report, and dispatchers sent deputies to his house at 12:29 a.m.
They didn't get there until 12:43 a.m. because of the traffic, Ollic said, but he disputed accounts that it had taken the authorities a half-hour to reach the scene.
Hundreds of people had gathered for the party, but Ollic said one estimate of 1,500 attendees likely was an exaggeration.
The large crowd also has made it difficult for investigators to figure out who fired the shots, the major said. At least six guns were fired, he said.
"We had multiple shooters in different locations," Ollic said. "It became chaotic. People were running in all kinds of directions trying to get to safety."
Goose Creek police officers and S.C. Highway Patrol troopers helped deputies in trying to control the traffic.
Paramedics' efforts to reach the victims were "extremely difficult" because of the crowd "in excess in several hundreds," deputies wrote in their report. The length of their response time, though, wasn't immediately known.
The deputies first encountered Scott resting in the backseat of a car at Longridge Road and Tish Lane, then Morgan lying in front of the house.
Their report did not indicate where they found the other wounded people. It said the case was turned over to detectives, whose reports were not ready for release because the shootings were still under investigation, Ollic said.
While deputies didn't know about the party before gunfire rang out, Ollic said they would be paying close attention to two club-sponsored events in Berkeley County in the near future.
While off-duty deputies typically are hired to provide security at such happenings, he said, they don't work at parties organized by community residents.
"We didn't know about this because it was a private party," Ollic said. "There wasn't a public brochure, though it may have been on Facebook."
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.
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