Florence Police take emotional damage into consideration for those who witness violence

Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 8:24 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Florence Police are renewing the commitment to mental health after two children were present during a fatal gunfight Tuesday.

Florence police said an altercation inside of a car led to a deadly shooting on Marsh Avenue and Clarendon Avenue Tuesday afternoon.

An investigation revealed that two men were in the same car on Marsh Avenue when they had a fight and shots were fired.

Police said the two hit each other as well as the female driver.

Two children were inside the vehicle at the time of the shooting, officials said, but they were not hit by gunfire.

However, there is concern that the children may be psychologically scarred.

A Florence Police spokesperson said situations like this make police work twofold.

“There’s so many different facets of this tragedy,” said Florence Police Capt. Mike Brandt. “The loss of life, the impact it will have on those kids, the neighborhood, those families.”

Most officers are dedicated to making the scene safe, keeping anything else from happening and helping the injured.

Other officers have to focus on the kids involved, shielding them from seeing anything worse than they already have.

A chaplain was on the scene Tuesday to help calm the children and distract them from the scene unfolding.

“Our chaplain will come in, try to give support, and try to point in the right direction toward PD mental health or private counseling,” Brandt said.

From there, victims’ advocacy will step in to connect them with the right resources for managing the trauma.

Once they make sure the kids are okay, the police chaplains don’t leave until they check in with everyone involved to see how they’re holding up. Of course, kids being involved takes a toll on police as well.

“The members of our chaplaincy come to the scene to check on the folks that were involved, the officers involved,” said Brandt. “They check on our dispatchers. It’s an effort to remind people, ‘Hey, we care.’”

Coroner Keith von Lutcken said Shavaris McShan, 27, and Rajae Quick, 27, both of Florence, died in the shooting.

The driver of the vehicle is expected to survive, according to the coroner. She may face minor charges.

The shooting remains under investigation by the Florence Police Department.

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