COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Pledging action and many more boots on the ground, Gov. Henry McMaster said Thursday the recent shootings and law enforcement issues in Myrtle Beach are an "aberration."
McMaster said various state agencies and law enforcement groups are pitching in an effort to make the popular tourist destination a safer place after a week following five shootings over the span of three days, including one broadcasted on Facebook Live.
"There will be plenty of boots on the ground, there will be more professionals -- many visible and some not noticeable," McMaster said.
McMaster blamed out-of-state visitors for bringing trouble with them to the coast.
"We know, for example, that these young men involved in this incident were from North Carolina at least most of them were, and they were young seventeen, eighteen years old, and they were here for the high school senior week," McMaster said.
The suspect in the Ocean Boulevard shooting captured on Facebook is involved in gang activity in North Carolina and knew the immediate victim, Myrtle Beach police said on Tuesday. But still, McMaster said he was willing to do whatever it takes to make the coast a safe place for vacationers.
"Probably the best professional team in the country is being assembled to be sure this does not happen again. We don't want it to happen again in any of our counties, in any of our cities, on the coast, or anywhere else," McMaster said.
McMaster also downplayed any idea that these shootings could bring down the popularity of the Palmetto State's coast as a tourist destination.
"For many, many years it has had a marvelous reputation, and I do not think this will hurt it," McMaster said. "We just want to be sure that everybody is comfortable when they come here to our community and we're not going to tolerate this kind of activity."