'It’s been very emotional’: Coker University remembers student who died after Hartsville lounge shooting

Coker University calls student who died after Hartsville lounge shooting ‘a friend to many’

HARTSVILLE, S.C. (WMBF) – The Coker University community is mourning the loss of one of its students, who died days after a deadly shooting at a Hartsville nightclub.

Garret Bakhsh, an 18-year-old Coker student from Baltimore County, Maryland, died at 8 p.m. Tuesday from injuries he sustained in the shooting at Mac’s Lounge on Camden Avenue early Sunday morning, according to the Darlington County Coroner’s Office.

Coker University student Garret Bakhsh died from injuries sustained in a weekend nightclub shooting in Hartsville.
Coker University student Garret Bakhsh died from injuries sustained in a weekend nightclub shooting in Hartsville. (Source: Coker Athletics website)

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our student, Garrett Bakhsh. Garrett was a freshman, a member of our men’s lacrosse team, and a friend to many in our Coker community,” a statement provided to WMBF News from Coker University said. “The entire Coker campus community joins together in expressing our sympathy to Garrett’s family and our hearts go out to all impacted by this sad news.”

Lieutenant Mandy Biter, the family spokesperson and a member of the Baltimore County Police Department, said Bakhsh was studying criminal justice in hopes of becoming a U.S. Marshal. Both of Bakhsh’s parents are longtime officers with BCPD.

“Just a couple of months of being at this school, he just touched hundreds of lives down here,” Biter said.

The night of the shooting, Biter said Bakhsh was celebrating a friend’s birthday when he was shot.

“He was an innocent victim. He wasn’t involved at all in this dispute that occurred between two people that happened to be at this lounge that night," she said.

Quadarius Grate, a recent graduate, said he was also at the popular college bar that terrifying night.

“Everybody’s running out the door, screaming, people falling everywhere,” Grate said. “You see someone on the floor laying down and I’m like that’s not where I want to be," Grate said.

He said the incident has impacted so many people.

“It’s been very emotional. It’s unfortunate that this situation happened," Grate said.

According to information on the college’s athletics website, Bakhsh came to Coker from Hereford High School in Maryland, where he was a state finalist in lacrosse for the 2017-2018 school year.

The family has set up a Go Fund Me to help with funeral expenses and eventually create a scholarship fund in Garrett’s honor.

The full statement from Coker University can be read below:

We are deeply saddened by the passing of our student, Garrett Bakhsh. Garrett was a freshman, a member of our men’s lacrosse team, and a friend to many in our Coker community. The entire Coker campus community joins together in expressing our sympathy to Garrett’s family and our hearts go out to all impacted by this sad news.

Coker is providing counseling services for students, faculty, and staff through the university’s Health and Wellness Center. Additionally, Coker’s Center for Diversity, Interfaith, and Inclusion Education is providing contacts for pastoral care for our community.

We continue to make our campus community’s safety and privacy our highest priority. We will post any campus-wide communication on our website at coker.edu/alerts.

Given there is an ongoing and active investigation by the Hartsville Police Department and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Coker University is not at liberty to share additional information and we do not have a spokesperson available for comment at this time.

Police responded to the shooting around 2 a.m. Sunday, which also killed Dicaprio Collins, 21, and Bryan Robinson, 29. Officials said three others were injured.

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A spokesperson for the city of Hartsville announced on Monday that two people were arrested in connection to the deadly shooting.

Darius Dickey, 20, is one of the suspects, according to officials. He faces several charges including four counts of attempted murder. He appeared in court on Monday where a judge denied him bond.

The name of the second suspect and their specific charges has not been released yet.

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