(ISLE OF PALMS, S.C.) — A South Carolina beach partially filled with high school students participating in a “senior skip day” descended into chaos Friday afternoon as gunfire injured at least six beachgoers.
Isle of Palms Police Chief Kevin Cornett said that five of the six injured were teenagers, though one older beachgoer was also injured. Police were already at the beach responding to two fights when the shooting began around roughly 5:20 p.m. on Friday, according to Cornett.
“A large crowd of individuals that apparently were part of a group from senior skip day had gathered on the beach,” Cornett said at a Friday evening press conference. “There were a couple of altercations that took place and during one of those altercations, there were several shots that were fired.”
Two people have been arrested in the wake of the shooting, officials said Saturday. Shawn Alexander Goods-Martin, 18, has been charged with possession of a firearm in a municipal parking lot, while an unnamed 16-year-old is facing charges of possession of a stolen firearm and unlawful carry, officials said.
Both were detained in the aftermath of the incident allegedly in possession of weapons, but at this time police cannot confirm that they are suspects in the shooting, officials told ABC News Saturday morning.
Police had multiple suspects in custody Friday evening, though Cornett said at the time that did not know if they had the actual shooter detained. Law enforcement also recovered multiple firearms at the beach which was shut down after the incident.
“We have weapons recovered, but we cannot say that they were the weapons involved in the incident,” Cornett said.
Video from the scene of the shooting showed hundreds of beachgoers running from the area amid a cacophony of screaming and police sirens.
Some of the victims were transported by ambulance to a local area hospital though authorities confirmed that multiple others self-transported. The shooting prompted a massive response from local, state and federal agencies, according to Cornett.
Cornett said that his department had preemptively ramped up the number of officers on duty in anticipation of the spring break increase in beach activity as seniors participating in the “skip day” tradition took the Friday off before spring break en masse.
Officers were already on the scene responding to a breakout of multiple fights when the shooting started, Cornett said.
“It is heart-wrenching to hear of this senseless act of violence, especially so close to home,” South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said of the incident online.
With a population of roughly 4,000 residents, Isle of Palms is a coastal city located on a barrier island in Charleston County.
“This should have been a joyous occasion for high school students on Senior ‘Skip Day’,” South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace said. “Incredibly sad, and just horrific.”
ABC News’ Jianna Cousin contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.