One child was killed and another was injured in a Wednesday night shooting at a party, Lexington County officials said.
Tashya Michelle Jay, 11, of Leesville, died at the scene, Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said Thursday morning.
Taysha was a fourth-grade student at Batesburg-Leesville Elementary School, Lexington District 3 spokeswoman Mackenzie Taylor told The State.
Another girl was also shot inside the home and was taken to an area hospital, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said. Her injuries are not considered life threatening, according to Fisher.
Further information on her condition was not available, but sheriff’s department spokesman Adam Myrick told The State she is expected to pull through.
That girl is a seventh-grade student at Batesburg-Leesville Middle School, Taylor said.
The sheriff’s department did not know if the girls were sisters.
The shooting is believed to be gang-related, the sheriff’s department said.
At about 10:40 p.m., deputies said they responded to reports of gunfire in the 700 block of Madera Road near Batesburg-Leesville. That’s near the intersection of South Pine and Willis streets, and about 3 miles from Shealy’s Bar-B-Que.
“There were a lot of people on scene as there was a party happening near the home where the two girls were shot,” Sheriff Jay Koon said in a news release. “Investigators worked through the night and continue to do everything they can to generate some information on who was involved in this.”
The girls were inside a mobile home near the party when the shooting happened, Myrick said. The resident of that mobile home was not hosting the party, according to Myrick.
No other injuries were reported by the sheriff’s department.
The gunfire damaged multiple mobile homes and vehicles in the area, according to the sheriff’s department.
Information on a shooter, or shooters, was not available, and as of noon no arrests had been reported.
“Witnesses told us early on they thought this was gang-related,” Koon said. “We hope community members will come forward and share tips with us as they find out about what happened.”
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 888-CRIME-SC or submit an online tip.
“Community tips are going to be really important to us in the investigation,” Myrick said.
Further information on a motive for the shooting was not available, but the incident remains under investigation.
Batesburg-Leesville Police are assisting in the investigation.
Counselors are available at both Batesburg-Leesville Elementary and Middle on Thursday and Friday for staff and students, Taylor said. Parents and guardians who have questions or concerns should reach out to their child’s school for additional assistance, according to Taylor.
“(Lexington District 3) sends its deepest, sincerest condolences to the family of the elementary school student we lost,” Taylor said.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.