CHERAW, S.C. (WBTV) - A mother was killed and her 6-month-old is expected to survive after a shooting that left one other person dead in Cheraw, South Carolina.
“This is a sad situation and it is very disturbing,” Cheraw Police Chief W. Keith Thomas said. “I’ve been in law enforcement for 31 years and this is probably the saddest situation I have had to work over those 31 years.”
The shooting started as a dispute at a club in Marlboro County and continued at the Dizzy Gillespie Apartment Complex around 4 a.m. Sunday.
Police say Christopher Green had a dispute at the club with John Michael Cooks (aka Mike Mike), Raekwon Ellerbe (aka Tune), Bobby Griham (aka Lul Bob) and Kwondashian Johnson (aka Kwon).
Officers say when Green arrived at the complex, he stayed in his car.
In just a few minutes, police say Cooks, Ellerbe, Griham and Johnson were all in one vehicle as they passed by the complex.
Griham and Ellerbe were reportedly dropped off at the mailbox area and walked to Green’s apartment. They were seen on video approaching Green’s car. Cooks and Johnson pulled up behind Green’s car.
Police say Green got out from the passenger side, arguing with Cooks for several minutes.
During the argument, police say Green walked back to his apartment, grabbed an assault-style rifle, came back outside and fatally shot Johnson in the head while he was sitting in a car.
Police say Ellerbe was then seen pulling out a 9mm handgun and shooting in the direction of Green’s apartment.
Green’s girlfriend 22-year-old Quanecia Brown was shot while holding her child inside the apartment.
Brown died at the hospital, while the 6-month-old child was taken to Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia with a gunshot wound to the arm. The child is expected to recover.
“Quanecia Brown was murdered on July 12, while she was holding her 6-month-old child in her arms,” Thomas said.
Cheraw police said multiple people have been arrested after speaking to witnesses and suspects and collecting evidence. Chief Thomas said he believes the individuals involved in the shootings were involved in gang-related activity.
“It all could have been avoided,” Thomas said. “There is no reason these young kids should be involved in gangs and should have access to these gangs. We can’t have another mother killed just for standing in her living room.”
Police said guns were recovered that Ellerbe and Green used in the shootings.
Green and Ellerbe have been charged with murder.
“This is a town I grew up in. This is a town that I love,” Thomas said. “We cannot lose this town to young gun violence that is associated with gangs. This is involving people that rare involved in gangs. We aren’t going to tolerate it here.”
Police say Green took two guns to a neighbor’s apartment and hid them, then called his family to pick them up and take them to another county.
Thomas is pleading for witnesses to speak out.
“I beg of you,” Thomas said. “I don’t want there to be another incident like this in Cheraw. Where we almost had to bury a 6-month-old.”
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Det. Brad Redfearn at the Cheraw Police Department at 843-537-7868.