'It was a shock, like mouth-dropping:' Visitors, business owners - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

'It was a shock, like mouth-dropping:' Visitors, business owners react to Ocean Boulevard shootings

An early-morning shooting happened near Ripley's Believe It or Not! on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach. (Source: WMBF News) An early-morning shooting happened near Ripley's Believe It or Not! on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach. (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Police continue to investigate two shootings that happened in a matter of hours on Ocean Boulevard.

Those shootings, which happened less than two miles apart, were reported Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

The first of those shootings happened around Ocean Boulevard and Eighth Avenue South. The second one was not far away, at Ocean Boulevard and Ninth Avenue North.

Police say they have detained four people in connection with the shooting at Ninth Avenue North. According to authorities, it happened in front of Ripley's Believe It or Not! No injuries were reported.

The other shooting happened near the Days Inn at Ocean Boulevard and Eighth Avenue South. One person was injured in that incident. Officials say they don't believe the two shootings are connected. They also say, as of now, they don't have any reason to believe they're gang-related.

Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock delivered a strong message for anyone looking to commit crime in the area during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

"If you choose to come to Myrtle Beach to break the law, you will be held accountable. You will be held accountable,” Prock said. “And you can rest assured that those who have been held accountable can attest to this."

Prock and MBPD Capt. Joey Crosby also talked about how there is no need for people to feel unsafe in the Ocean Boulevard area. They said the police department is fully staffed and additional officers will be placed in that area over the weekend.

Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune also commented on the shootings during Thursday’s briefing.

It was around this time last year that the Father's Day shooting on Ocean Boulevard was captured on Facebook Live and viewed by millions.

Following that shootings, barricades were placed on Ocean Boulevard. On Thursday, Bethune made it clear those barricades are not the answer this time.

"It has not been a discussion, it did not come up today during all of meetings,” Bethune said. “The barricades do not stop violence in this instance."

Tourists say they're hoping this violence stops so they can enjoy their vacations without having to worry.

"Ultimately I hope that it becomes a place where families can come and can be on the strip after 5 o clock," said Drew and Andy Honeycutt, visiting from North Carolina.

"It was a shock, like mouth-dropping," said Jamie Jacovina, who was visiting from Delaware.

The shootings are also discouraging for business owners like Rick Sarver, who owns Boardwalk Coffee House.

"It's very sad that something like this is occurring," Sarver said.

Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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