Gaffney, SC

1 killed, 4 injured in shootingFree Access

Sheriff wants nightclub shut down

After a Gaffney man was shot to death and four other people were wounded early Saturday, Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller said it’s time to close the Sugar Shack II nightclub.

The sheriff ’s office will work closely with the SC Department of Revenue and SC Law Enforcement Office in attempt to revoke the current business license for Sugar Shack II, the sheriff said.

The club has been open for about two years.

Mueller said a 3:30 a.m. shooting Saturday left 23-year-old Montreal Jordan McMullins, of 1551 Overbrook Drive, dead and sent four other people to the hospital.

“The nightclub owner has been notified that the establishment will remain closed during the ongoing investigation,” Mueller said. “The sheriff ’s office has been to this location numerous times over the past two years for fights, shots-fired calls and other persons injured from gunfire at this nightclub.”

McMullins was transported from the scene at 1435 Wilcox Ave., by ambulance to Spartanburg Medical Center where he died during surgery at 4:55 a.m. An autopsy will be performed to assist in the investigation, said Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler.

McMullins was one of five people struck by gunfire in the incident. The other victims were identified as a 29- year-old man and three women, ages 31, 32 and 38.

The four injured victims were transported by personal vehicles to Cherokee Medical Center in Gaffney and a hospital in Shelby, N.C.

“They all have been treated with non-life threatening injuries and most of them have been released from the hospital,” Mueller said.

The Cherokee County Sheriff ’s Office is not releasing the injured victims’ names at this time due to the ongoing investigation.

Mueller said at least four vehicles were struck by gunfire.

“Investigators know that gunshots occurred both inside the club and in the parking lot outside the club,” the sheriff said. “Investigators recovered multiple types of shell casings, indicating more than one person was shooting.”

The sheriff said investigators will not reveal the types or how many shell casings were recovered from the crime scene at this time.

“Investigators were able to seize a camera recording system from within the club that they hope will identify persons involved in the shooting or identify persons that might have been present with valuable information in regards to the shooting,” Mueller said.

Local police have responded to three shootings at the Sugar Shack II nightclub since July of 2018.

The first one occurred July 21, 2018, when one person sustained a non life-threatening gunshot wound to the leg and several vehicles were struck by gunfire in the parking lot. Mueller said investigators recovered more than 50 shell casings from the scene in the July incident and took reports on approximately seven or eight vehicles that were struck by gunfire.

Sheriff ’s deputies responded to a Dec. 8, 2018, shooting at 4 a.m. at the location.

While no one was struck, Mueller said officers located a Dodge pickup truck belonging to someone from the nightclub that had been hit in the fender by a bullet.

In 2018, Mueller said he met with the Sugar Shack II owner to provide guidance on how the nightclub might be able to provide better security and a safer environment for its customers.

“They followed the recommendations for a period of time but have reverted back to not having armed security on the premises,” Mueller said. “They have failed miserably in protecting patrons of their establishment both inside the nightclub and outside the club.”

Sugar Shack II was only permitted or licensed for serving beer and wine. The sheriff said evidence recovered inside the club indicates liquor was being served to customers inside the club before the shooting.

Mueller said the sheriff ’s office will partner with the solicitor’s office to close the Sugar Shack II as a nuisance establishment on a permanent basis through the courts.

“This remains a very active investigation with three investigators working nonstop on tips coming in and information provided from some witnesses on scene at this point,” Mueller said. “It is crucial for anyone who was at the Sugar Shack Nightclub II that witnessed this shooting or can provide details of the events and things that took place in the minutes before the shooting to contact Investigator (Chris) Parnell or Investigator (April) Haney at the Cherokee County Sheriff ’s Office.”

Investigator Parnell can be reached at (864) 489-4722 extension #117; while investigator Haney can be reached at extension #120.

Persons with information can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-Crime SC or 1-888-274-6372.

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