NEWBERRY, SC (WIS) - Newberry County deputies are investigating a shooting early Saturday morning at a block party involving several hundred people, and are offering a reward for information.
Between the music, food and games, May Day is a celebration that the people of Helena look forward to every year. Organizer Mildred Goggans is proud to talk about what her town means to her. "Everything, these are my roots," she said.
But Goggans gets discouraged when he hears about what happened just around the corner from her community center.
Sheriff Lee Foster said the party happened near the intersection of Brown Chapel Circle and Brown Chapel Drive. Just after 2 a.m., a fight broke out among several of the attendees. Deputies say someone begin firing into the crowed with a gun.
Investigators say six people were shot. All of the injuries were to the lower leg and none of the injuries were life threatening.
Law enforcement officers are searching for leads in the shooting and a sizable cash reward is being offered for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the person or persons responsible.
Foster said that while the incident did not appear to be a planned event, "I cannot imagine anything so terrible and as potentially deadly for so many as randomly firing a gun into a large crowd," he said. "Every effort will be made to bring the person or persons responsible for this crime to justice."
The identities of the victims are being withheld at this time, said Foster.
"They pull their guns out to show how big, how tough and how bad they are and then people get hurt," said Foster. "This foolishness has got to stop. There's some really good people that live in that neighborhood. They want a clean neighborhood, they don't want that to go on and we're not going to allow it to go on."
Community organizers promise to do their part.
"More togetherness," suggested Goggans. "If we can do something to teach the young people that violence is not the way and that education is the key then we will have done our job."