Several young men scattered after shots were fired near downtown Rock Hill, witnesses told police, in an incident authorities have documented as possible gang activity.
Police went to the 900 block of Stonewall Avenue about 6:20 p.m. after a resident reported hearing gunshots in the area, according to a Rock Hill police report. The caller told dispatchers that a group of young men began running toward South Jones Avenue when bullets started flying.
At least five people ran from Pebble Road to South Jones, the report states. An officer managed to stop two people, an 18-year-old man and a teen whose exact age was not available, who told officers they were walking between the two streets when gunfire erupted and they saw three men run away from the direction of the noise.
Officers then discovered that one of the people involved is listed in a federal criminal database as a “known gang member,” the report states. Specific gang affiliations were not listed in the report, and no arrests were made.
After about four months of gathering information, police last month arrested 13 alleged gang members in a widespread roundup they hoped would make a dent in the city’s mushrooming gang problem. Authorities blame several drive-by and seemingly random shootings on 715 FAM and 901 KOB – two groups police say have been feuding on the city’s streets for the past several months. Pebble Road is one of the locations of those shootings.
Members of 715 FAM have argued that they are not a gang, but a music group that posts videos to Facebook, YouTube and other music-sharing sites. They say police have typecast them as a gang. Nine of their members were arrested and charged during the roundup.
Jonathan McFadden • 803-329-4082