June 6 (UPI) — Authorities said Sunday at least one person was killed and seven others were injured in a drive-by shooting at a South Carolina graduation party.
The sheriff’s office for Clarendon County, located about 80 miles north of Charleston, said the shooting happened at 11 p.m. Saturday in a residential yard on St. Paul Road, resulting in eight people, mostly minors, shot.
“There were at least 60 to 70 rounds fired at this incident,” Sheriff Tim Baxley said in a statement.
The office identified the deceased victim as a 32-year-old woman. Most of the victims were minors, including a 12-year-old, a 13-year-old, a 14-year-old, two 15-year-olds and a 17-year-old. A 36-year-old was also shot.
Authorities said 150 people were at the party when officers arrived at the scene and began administering treatment to the victims who were transported to local hospitals.
The sheriff’s office said an unknown number of suspects opened fire on the crowd from two vehicles that pulled up to the yard where the party was taking place.
“It is not sure whether shots were fired at specific persons or just randomly into the crowd,” Baxley said, adding that the shooting appears to be gang related and connected to a previous drive-by shooting.
He added that it is unclear if anyone at the party returned fire.
“These acts of violence cannot continue. Innocent children and adults are suffering the consequences of these acts!” he said.
The shooting occurred during a weekend of violence in the United States that saw mass shootings in Tennessee that left three people dead and 17 injured and in Philadelphia that killed three people and injured 11 others.
The bloody weekend also occurred on the heels of several high-profile mass shootings nationwide, including at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 students and two adults late last month.
As of Sunday, there have been 239 mass shootings in the United States this year, resulting in the deaths of 152 children under the age of 12 while injuring another 318 in this demographic, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive. Meanwhile, 552 minors between the ages of 11 and 17 have been killed in this time frame with another 318 injured.