Police say suspect still on the loose after Myrtle Beach nightclub shooting

At least five people were shot inside a Myrtle Beach, S.C. nightclub, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (WPDE/Liz Cooper)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) - Myrtle Beach Police say a suspect is still on the loose after five people were hurt in a shooting Saturday.

The shooting happened about 2:30 a.m. at the Pure Ultra Nightclub in the Five Points District of downtown Myrtle Beach. The club is located at 803 Main St.

Police on scene told ABC15 five people were shot. According to Myrtle Beach Police Public Information Officer Joey Crosby, four of the victims appeared to be bystanders. Three of the victims were treated and released from the hospital. One victim was treated at the scene and the fifth victim was at the hospital being treated. His condition is unknown.

Police said the preliminary investigation showed the incident appeared to be gang related.

Our reporter on scene Saturday morning said she watched about six bouncers wearing Pure Ultra Nightclub shirts being interviewed by police.

The shooter fled the scene, but police said they may know who that suspect is. A police report listed the suspect as a black male, possibly in his 20s, wearing a baseball cap and long-sleeved shirt. It also said he has a goatee and short hair. It described him as having a medium build, standing about 5-foot-10.

Crosby said officers were processing evidence and interviewing potential witnesses Saturday morning.

He said officers had developed a person of interest in the investigation and warrants were being pursued. Saturday morning those warrants still had not yet been issued, according to Lt. Crosby.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Myrtle Beach Police Department at 843-918-1382.

Lt. Crosby said starting on November 6, parking will be prohibited around the Five Points District from 2 AM to 6 AM because of the violence that has happened in this area.

The area where the shooting happened is often referred to as the Super Block. It has been the focus of a debate over a connection between crime and nightclubs.

In December 2015, the Myrtle Beach City Council passed an ordinance banning any new bars or clubs from opening in the area until a study is completed.

That study, they said, would take about a year to complete, so we are still waiting on findings.

Business owners, who spoke at a hearing last January, said they wanted to see change, but didn't think the temporary ban on new bars was fair.

At the time, the city planning director said they were still looking for a permanent solution.

We have reached out to the city council for an update in light of the shooting overnight.

Saturday morning, ABC 15 News spoke with some people in the community who were shaken up by the shooting.

Ron White, a longtime resident, said he came to Myrtle Beach Saturday morning to watch the sunrise with his family, but "ended up coming here in the dark, down the main avenue, driving our vehicle past a major crime scene." He continued, "They've removed a lot of the family atmosphere from the beach by wiping out the pavilion. It's no surprise this area has become crime riddled to this point."

Lori Orlowske works in Myrtle Beach, close to Pure Ultra Nightclub. She said when she pulled in Saturday morning she saw the same usual thing - "beer bottles, beer cans, empty red Solo cups, styrofoam cups, food containers, just basically a trashed-up parking lots."

Orlowske said she doesn't know why the bars are open so late.

"Myrtle Beach needs to start breaking down on the laws. Why are people out at the bars at 2:30, 3, 4, 5 [a.m.]? They need to have a closing time. If they're not going to install a closing time for these businesses, shut them down. I mean, just close them. If you can't control them, just close them," said Orlowske.

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