ST. GEORGE, SC (WCSC) - A man who witnessed the fatal shooting of a 23-year-old woman outside a St. George club says members of a Walterboro-area gang who call themselves "Cowboys" started the incident.
According to a Dorchester County Sheriff's Office incident report, one deputy was responding to the shooting at Starlight Lounge, located in the 200 block of Hudson Road, when he was flagged down at the intersection of Legare Road and Raysor Street by a man in a black Chevrolet.
The deputy then found 23-year-old Sierra Denise Truesdale, of Goose Creek, dead in the back seat of the vehicle, with a friend sitting next to hear yelling at her to "wake up."
The deputy said a crying man then walked up to the scene and said he witnessed the incident, and that Truesdale was his friend. The deputy asked the man what happened and he said Truesdale was celebrating her birthday with friends and that "everything inside the club was going good."
The man said everyone was dancing, having a good time, and getting along when a group of individuals he knew as "Cowboys" walked into the club. He said the Cowboys, a Walterboro-area gang, usually cause trouble but there weren't any problems at first.
The man said he did not know exactly what happened, but the Cowboys put American flag bandanas over their faces and walked outside and started firing off rounds. Other witnesses confirmed the shooting began as the club was "emptying out."
He said there was "a lot of commotion" and then he heard someone say Truesdale was shot. He said the cowboys then left the scene.
Two other witnesses who were in the car with Truesdale said they were trying to flee the club when they initially heard shots, but when they got to the car, they could not find Truesdale. A woman said she saw Truesdale crouching down by the vehicle, trying to hide from the gunfire.
The woman said she told Truesdale to get inside the vehicle, but then found Truesdale lying on the ground near the vehicle's back door. She and the driver of the Chevy put Truesdale in the back seat and drove off.
Three other people, a man and two women, were also injured in the shooting. The man was shot in the upper right shoulder and the woman suffered gunshot wounds to her right forearm and midsection. The other female victim was grazed on the right side of her left foot, according to the report.
Major Ken Dasen with Walterboro Public Safety confirmed the Cowboys were a gang located "just outside the city."
Dorchester County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Sam Richardson said the night club has no history of significant violence. However, Richardson said the county is looking into the history of all night clubs located in the unincorporated areas.
"Looking at different avenues that we may have of trying to handle maybe closures at some point," he said.
Investigators say no suspects have been identified. The investigation is ongoing.