MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach’s business leaders said they are committed to helping keep the community and visitors safe after three shootings within eight days along Ocean Boulevard.
Officials with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce said they are saddened and angered by the violence that has taken place in the city.
“That type of reprehensible behavior has no place in our community and will not be tolerated,” the MBACC said in a statement. “The events of the past two weekends do not accurately reflect Myrtle Beach, the community members who live, work and play here, or the majority of the visitors who vacation here each year.”
The Myrtle Beach Police Department has confirmed that all three shootings were gang-related, and the suspects came from outside of the city and brought their disputes to the Grand Strand streets.
Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Karen Riordan said these recent shootings have sent a shockwave through the business community.
As city council and the police department focus on additional steps to protect residents, Riordan is encouraging local businesses to play their part in keeping employees and guests inside of their establishments, safe.
“If they see criminal elements happening inside [or outside] of their business, they have to let the police know so [it doesn’t] escalate into the type of violence [seen] this past weekend," Riordan said. “I think the business community is rocked like everyone else but we are also resilient. We are going to move forward and find a way to get beyond this violence."
Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said city council is in discussions with the Myrtle Beach Police Department, about what steps can be taken next, to ensure businesses and residents feel safer coming to the beach.
“We are 110% committed to public safety,” Bethune said. "[Myrtle Beach] is safer than most cities, so compare, check your facts, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. We want people to feel safe here.”
The MBACC said it will continue to work closely with government leaders and law enforcement to identify and implement solutions to help prevent these kind of incidents in the future.
"Myrtle Beach was founded as a vacation destination for families and we are going to do everything we can as a chamber to support our city and our law enforcement to ensure we remain one of America’s favorite family beach destinations. As our important summer season begins everyone, including business owners, residents and visitors, should stay alert and report any suspicious, illegal or problematic behaviors to local law enforcement immediately,” said Riordan during Tuesday’s Myrtle Beach City Council meeting.
Anyone who sees suspicious, illegal or problematic behavior is asked to call 843-918-INFO or email email@example.com.