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‘Bring these people to justice’: Darlington Co. authorities address recent string of homicides

Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 10:43 PM EDT
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DARLINGTON, S.C. (WMBF) – Authorities in Darlington County held a press conference Friday to address recent deadly shootings that occurred only hours apart.

Darlington Police Chief Kelvin Washington and Darlington County Sheriff James Hudson spoke about the shootings and how law enforcement and the community need to work together to stop the violence.

Washington announced Steven Samuel was arrested and charged with the murder of his step-mother Vivian Best this past Monday.

Rahiem Fortune, 24, was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon after a shootout between two cars at the intersection of West Broad Street and Milling Street in Darlington, according to coroner J. Todd Hardee.

A few hours later just miles up the road, a 16-year-old was shot and killed near Hartsville.

“It’s safe to say you may know who some of these people are and we ask you to help us bring these people to justice if they’ve broken the laws of the state of South Carolina,” Hudson said.

Washington and Hudson agree most of the murders in recent months are gang-related.

They said too many guns are getting into the hands of young people and parents aren’t holding them accountable.

“If your teenager is living in your house under your roof you have a responsibility to that young person and this community to know what they’re involved in,” Washington said.

Darlington Mayor Curtis Boyd held a prayer vigil at 8 a.m. Friday at the Darlington County Courthouse to lift up his city and the surrounding areas.

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