Mayor John Rhodes: "Myrtle Beach is not a city of violence"

Mayor John Rhodes :Myrtle Beach is not a city of violence, (Ashley Gooden/WPDE)

Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes spoke with ABC15 NEWS after a string of shootings during Father's Day Weekend.

In a phone interview, the Mayor said "Myrtle Beach is not a city of crime."

The Myrtle Beach Police Department is investigating several shootings from the weekend.

On Sunday, several people were taken to the hospital following a shooting on Ocean Boulevard early that morning.

On Saturday, two shootings were reported in the city, including one in front of the movie theater at Coastal Grand Mall.

"You always worry about bad press. we have to try everything we can to prevent this crime," the mayor said.

The discussion of how to fight crime in Myrtle Beach has been an ongoing discussion. During Easter weekend, there were multiple shootings. Five shootings in a five day span.

We interviewed the mayor after those shootings in April, "We're not letting this go by as, 'Oh, this is once in a blue moon.' No, it could happen again. We must be prepared, we must have a plan to attack these issues on a daily basis," he said.

Related: Myrtle Beach Police: "Presence of law enforcement is not enough anymore."

In a phone interview today, Rhodes applauded the police efforts. "If you commit a crime you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," he said.

The city has enlisted the help of other police departments on busy weekends and has discussed making changes to Ocean Blvd. Police have also said they can't do it alone and it's going to need to be joint effort between police, the community and business owners.

Former Myrtle Beach Police Chief Warren Gall announced his retirement following the shootings and just days before the busy Memorial Day weekend, Bike Fest and the Carolina Country Music Festival.

The city is considering an ordinance that would ban certain merchandise from being sold in the overlay district of Ocean Boulevard.

The ordinance would ban weapons, drug paraphernalia, and sexually explicit clothing from being sold in the area.

Related: Four shootings since Saturday have business owners concerned

Rhodes said the city is here to protect business owners, visitors and everyone who lives here.

"In spite of what some people think, Myrtle Beach is not a crime infected city," he said.

Anyone who may have information on any of the shootings is urged to call the Myrtle Beach Police Department at 843-918-1382.

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