A shooting at an unauthorized concert in North Charleston, South Carolina, late Saturday night left a 14-year-old dead and 14 others wounded, according to police.
Officers responded to the area of Piggly Wiggly Drive and West Jimtown Drive in reference to a shooting at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday and found numerous victims with gunshot wounds, North Charleston Police (NCP) Deputy Chief Scott Deckard said.
The victims were treated and taken to local hospitals. Several additional victims were located at area hospitals after being transported by others. Information on their status was not immediately available.
Deckard said a fight had broken out near the concert stage prior to the shooting.
NCP Chief Reggie Burgess said at a press conference Sunday afternoon that the community was mourning a girl who will “never have an opportunity to see a prom, never have the opportunity to graduate, never have an opportunity to enter college or the military, or get a job.”
He said alcohol was sold at the unauthorized event.
“We in law enforcement had no clue about this. If we would have, we’d probably have been able to save lives,” Burgess said.
Police are investigating the incident and at this point, the motive is unknown, he said.
Images of the scene taken by police and provided by CNN affiliate WCSC show a makeshift “tiki bar,” coolers and drinks scattered across the area, a stage with large speakers and a table with food, sodas and snacks. The North Charleston Police Department said it was not aware of the event beforehand.
The incident was among several in another spate of weekend gun violence, including mass shootings in New Jersey, in Youngstown, Ohio, and Columbus, Ohio. American cities have seen a stark rise in gun violence over the last year that criminologists have connected to the coronavirus pandemic’s economic and social impact as well as mistrust in policing.