Alleged shooter in Waccamaw Bingo killings had been out on bond after arrest for attempted murder, records show

Alleged shooter in Waccamaw Bingo killings had been out on bond after arrest for attempted murder

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – One of the two men accused in the Waccamaw Bingo hall shooting that left a father and son dead had been out of jail on bond for just over a month following his arrest in Georgetown County for attempted murder, according to records.

On Thursday, law enforcement announced 29-year-old Derrick Rivera, of Georgetown, was charged with two counts of murder, two counts of armed robbery, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

Additionally, 40-year-old Bradford Britton, also of Georgetown, faces two counts of murder and two counts of armed robbery in connection with the July 26 shooting that claimed the lives of Stephen “Steve” Johnson Sr., and Stephen “Sparky” Johnson, Jr.

RELATED STORY: Police charge two with murder in deadly Waccamaw Bingo shooting

Arrest warrants show that Rivera is accused of pulling the trigger and killing the father and son.

Records from the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division show that prior to the Waccamaw Bingo shooting, Rivera was arrested on May 23 in Georgetown and charged with four counts of attempted murder. WMBF News has filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking a copy of the police report in that case.

According to online information from the Georgetown County Public Index, a $32,000 surety bond was set for Rivera on May 24. A bonding company posted bail for him exactly one month later and he was released.

Before his May 23 arrest in Georgetown, Rivera was arrested in Richland County on April 11. He was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, unlawful carrying of a weapon, possession of a stolen gun, use of a vehicle without permission, and owning body armor by a violent offender, according to SLED records.

In August 2010, Rivera was charged by the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office with first-degree burglary, second-degree assault and battery, armed robbery, second-degree burglary, and strong-armed robbery. On Sept. 19, 2011, he was convicted on the latter two charges and sentenced to 12 years in prison, records show.

A search for Rivera on the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services website brings up a listing, but there is no information regarding when he was released.

As for Britton, in addition to his Horry County charges, he was also wanted on a fugitive warrant out of Texas for failure to appear on a narcotics charge.

During a court hearing Thursday afternoon, the judge indicated bond on the murder charges for the two men would have to be set by a circuit court judge.

Family members of the two victims said they feel certain that justice will ultimately be served.

“I have two great kids and I hope I have raised them to cherish everyone’s life on this earth, and that I feel sorry for the parents of these two guys,” said Christi Brunson, the daughter and sister of the two victims. “Know that basically, as far as I’m concerned, they’re failures. I pity the family; I feel sorry for them as well.”

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