1 injured after shots ring out at sweet 16 party in York County

1 injured after shots ring out at sweet 16 party in York County


by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC


Posted on June 23, 2014 at 5:32 PM

YORK COUNTY, S.C. -- A teenager is recovering from a gunshot wound after being shot in a parking lot during a sweet 16 party.

The teen was with a large group of people at the Comfort Inn in Fort Mill when someone pulled up and started shooting around 10:45 Friday night.

Billy Ferguson thought the noises he heard were fireworks someone just bought from his Area 51 Fireworks store, which is right across from the Comfort Inn.

Teenagers scattering in all directions told him it was something else.

"It looked like they were trying to take cover,” Ferguson said.

It was gunfire at a sweet 16 birthday party.

Investigators say the party got out of hand, fueled by in part by Instagram posts telling people where it was and how long the party lasted.

There wasn't just one gun fired. According to the police, one of the witnesses pulled a shotgun out of his trunk and fired in the air to scare away the initial shooter.

Fireworks store owner Doug Cianfrocca also heard the gunshots and saw 17-year-old Marquis Winston laying by some trees with a bullet wound to his shoulder.

"I don't have any medical knowledge, so I couldn't help him, so I immediately called 911,” Cianfrocca said.

The 17 year-old wasn't the only thing hit.

Deputies say a security guard found a bullet hole in his pant leg, which apparently ricocheted off the asphalt. A 19-year-old party participant got a burn mark on his shoulder from a stray bullet and a bullet also hit someone's Jeep and caused about $800 in damage.

None of the injuries are considered life-threatening.

"I just didn't understand why anybody would shoot randomly at anyone else. Nothing to gain in that and all it does is hurt other people's families,” Cianfrocca said.

Speaking of family, Johnny Harrison's relatives are staying at the Comfort Inn while they're in town this week. He will ask if they want to go somewhere else because of the shooting.

"Sometimes you just can't go nowhere anymore with shots being fired, no matter where you go any more, it's kind of dangerous, really,” Harrison said.

At last check investigators have not made any arrests.

The York County Sheriff's Office is investigating the case. If you have any information on this crime, you're asked to give them a call.