Live 5 News Investigates: New, violent gang in Colleton County

Khiry Broughton, self professed leader of the Cowboys, from a still of a music video.
Khiry Broughton, self professed leader of the Cowboys, from a still of a music video.

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A Live 5 News investigation has uncovered a new, violent gang in Colleton County.

Colleton County Sheriff's Office investigators say the "Cowboys" gang may be responsible for the murder of an innocent woman outside a St. George night club on July 14.

The sheriff's office showed us a rap video featuring the Cowboys, who they are calling the most-violent gang in the county.

"We actually stumbled on to that video almost immediately upon it's posting on Facebook," said Lt. Jason Chapman, who heads up the Special Response Team. The team monitors gang activity.

"They're extremely dangerous, mostly because they're trying to make a name for themselves," said Chapman. They're bringing it to our attention. They're bringing the food to the table. We're not force feeding them to make them famous."

Chapman has been tracking the Cowboys since mid 2012, when the gang apparently was first formed.

He says many of their members are teenagers.

"The members of this gang range anywhere from middle and high school on up to early 20's," he explained.

Chapman says most of the Cowboys had relatives in gangs who have been killed or put in prison.

Authorities say those gangs were responsible for a series of shootings in 2009, one that left a toddler dead.

Now four years later, Chapman says it's the Cowboys who are causing problems in the county.

Through their investigation, Chapman and his team believes the cowboys' self professed leader is Khiry Broughton, a wannabe rap star.

"At this point in time, it looks like a lot of the young people followed him because he's a young kid from a small county who's got a chance of making it big," Chapman said.

He says actually, Broughton and the Cowboys are all about big trouble.

"They have automatic weapons, they have pistols, they have shotguns, they have rifles."

They wear their signature American flag bandana over their faces, according to Chapman.

"Personally I find it disgusting. The American flag that's supposed to be one of the most respected icons in our nation and they're affiliating it with criminal activity or a criminal gang."

Chapman says the gang members don't like deputies patrolling on their turf.

The Cowboys actually videotaped two of them in their music video.

"We've had them come up to marked units, hands in their pockets, making threatening gestures at officers in marked units," Chapman said.

Investigators say last Saturday the Cowboys apparently decided to take their party to the Starlite Lounge in St. George.

"The information we have is that they simply went there to party and it turned bad," said Chapman.

Shots were fired outside the club that left an innocent woman dead, who was celebrating her birthday at there.

"A parent should never have to bury their children. Children bury their parents first, and I never thought I'd be at a place where I'd have to bury my own child," Tamika Myers, mother of the murder victim.

Chapman says if the gang wants to get attention, they've got it now, more than ever.

"And if it means that we have to show up every time they have a party at a club because they like to shoot and kill people, then we're gonna do it," he warned. "Sheriff Strickland has a very firm belief that if you are in a gang such as the cowboys, that there are only three possible outcomes. You will be killed, you will be paralyzed or that you will be in jail."

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