WALTERBORO – Authorities are beefing up police patrols and calling in outside reinforcements to keep a lid on tensions after a series of shootings this week left three people dead and eight wounded.

Walterboro Mayor Bill Young said the State Law Enforcement Division is sending in more agents and other outside help may be requested to help local police and sheriff’s deputies contain the violence.

“We don’t want any more loss of life, and we don’t want anyone else to get hurt,” he said. “We are going to do what we have to do to make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s a tough time for us here, but we are on top of it.”

Young’s words come amid a deadly week for this rural community, which has struggled with gang violence in recent years.

Three people, including 20-month-old Shaniyah Burden, were killed Monday around 10 p.m. during a drive-by shooting at a home at the corner of Gerideau and McDaniel streets. Six people were wounded in the barrage, which occurred while some 20 people were gathered at the home to play cards, grill food and watch football. Witnesses said the gunfire appeared to come from a “machine gun.”

Two more people were shot Wednesday night just blocks from the site of the slayings. Both men were transported to Medical University hospital.

Gunfire was reported around 8:30 p.m. on Cleveland Street, near a home where relatives of Monday night’s victims have been staying. Deputies were racing to the area when they received word that two men with gunshot wounds were outside a club at Proctor and Rivers streets, according to a police report.

A man at the scene told deputies he was driving on Robertson Boulevard when someone in a white car opened fire on his vehicle. Bullets struck two of his passengers. He drove to a restaurant on Proctor and a relative took the two wounded men to a hospital, deputies said.

Authorities said one of the men was wounded five times; the other man’s wounds were less serious. Their conditions were not available this morning.