Residents report a spate of shootings, gun incidents on Hilton Head, in Bluffton, police say

Residents in Bluffton and Hilton Head reported at least four shootings and one stabbing incident over the last two weeks, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. There were no serious injuries reported.

The first of the incidents happened on March 10 just before 3 p.m. after six people called 911 to report a man waving a gun around near the intersection of Lake Linden Drive and Burnt Church Road in Bluffton, police said. Police found a man shouting at passing cars near M.C. Riley Elementary School who matched the description they were given.

Police detained the man and said he had allegedly been drinking. The man was later charged with public disorderly conduct and unlawful carrying of a pistol and taken to the Beaufort County Detention Center. He was released on bond two days later.

The next day near Camp St. Mary’s and Okatie Bluff roads around 2:30 p.m., neighbors called to report someone was shooting close to a nearby park. One of the men who was reporting the shooting told officers shots came from a gold, compact sedan and that there were shell casings in the street. The man told police he and his neighbors heard at least eight gunshots.

Police found about 12 shell casings in the street and in the grass nearby. Police think that the shooter was most likely aiming at trees and abandoned buildings.

No arrests have been made as of Tuesday afternoon and the investigation was closed, said Maj. Angela Viens with the sheriff’s office.

At 4:30 p.m. on March 11, someone called police to report an accident between two drivers at the Vista View Apartments on Haigler Boulevard in Bluffton which had resulted in at least one of the drivers shooting at the other, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report. When police were on their way there, they saw a driver who may have been involved in the altercation at a nearby gas station trying to put his fallen bumper into the backseat of his car.

The man alleged that while he was visiting his children at the apartment complex, their mother’s new boyfriend punched his car. When he was trying to back out of the parking lot to get away, he hit another car and someone shot at him. The man said he did not see a gun and was not hit but went to the nearby gas station to get away. He has refused to cooperate with police, Viens said.

Neighbors told police the man was the one shooting, but deputies said in the report that those allegations did not have “a strong foundation.” Police did not find any weapons in the man’s car but did find marijuana in the front seat and two shell casings at the apartment complex. The man was cited for simple possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor charge and was due in Bluffton Magistrate Court.

A man called deputies to 92 Gibbet Road in Pritchardville to report that two men were fighting and one of them had been stabbed during the scuffle, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report. The man who was stabbed had cuts to his back, shoulder and arm and was taken to Savannah Memorial Hospital for treatment.

A woman who was with the injured man at the time of the incident told police that a second man had come into her home without permission and punched the injured man first, instigating the fight.

The second man was treated for head injuries at Beaufort Memorial Hospital and police are still investigating who started the fight, Viens said. Both men had been released from the hospitals as of Tuesday afternoon.

On March 13 just before 10 p.m. on Hilton Head, deputies were called about a shooting in a Walmart parking lot on Pembroke Drive. People told deputies they heard one shot fired and two cars, a white Toyota Sequoia and a white or silver Mercedes sedan, sped off.

While driving around the store, police spotted a car that matched one of the descriptions given and pulled it over. Two minors were detained and a gun was found under the front passenger seat of the car along with ammunition. One of the minors told police they were approached by three men while inside the store who started “a verbal altercation.” While in the parking lot, they saw the three men again and, while they were driving away, they heard a gunshot.

Both of the minors were released to their parents and the one sitting in the front passenger seat was petitioned to Family Court for having the gun, police said.