Man dead as shootings, arrests continue

WINNSBORO – With five suspected drive-by shooters arrested during the last week, and a tenuous respite in the drive-by shootings, violence in the city continues, with a Winnsboro man shot to death Friday, Aug. 19, in a convenience store.

The Winnsboro Department of Public Safety was called to Citgo at the intersection of US Hwy 321 and Ninth Street about midnight after a man who was fighting with another man in the convenience  store was shot multiple times by a third man, according to Winnsboro Public Safety Department Chief John Seibles.

The shooting victim, Martez Kemontae Hughes, 21, was transported to Prisma Health where he succumbed to his injuries.

Dydreekus Dwight McDaniel, 24, admitted to officers that he had shot the victim, according to the incident report. He was arrested and booked into the Fairfield County Detention Center. McDaniel is charged with murder.

The death was preceded by 10 drive-by shootings since April 21, 2022 and five wounded victims.

Arrests Increase

At least five arrests of suspects in the shootings have been made in the last week with the help of Fairfield County Sheriff’s Deputies and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

After Fairfield County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two 17-year-olds on Aug. 19 in Ridgeway in connection with a drive–by shooting at Chatham Forrest and Calhoun Street, Fairfield County Sheriff Will Montgomery said his office has had a number of deputies working overtime recently to assist the WDPS in finding and arresting several suspects in the various drive-by shootings.

“On Thursday night, we had eight deputies working overtime, and we’re going to continue that until we get these criminals off our streets and in jail,” Montgomery said.

The two teens were each charged with unlawful carry, possession of a firearm by persons under 21, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Both were charged with attempted murder and several weapons charges.

“I’m very appreciative to the sheriff’s office and how they’ve worked together with our Winnsboro Department of Public Safety to get some of these criminals off the streets,” Winnsboro Town Manager Jason Taylor said. “It’s a relief to know these people are being arrested for their crimes.”

“Going forward,” Taylor said, “We want to keep our citizens safe, and we’re going to. We’ve lost some very good officers recently and we need to recruit some other good ones. We’re also exploring installing a camera system in some communities to help deter people from this kind of violence. We want to be able to quickly identify and get these criminals off the streets,” he said.

On Aug. 21, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department arrested a female after a warrant for attempted murder had been issued for her arrest in connection with two men being shot on Calhoun Street in June. One man was shot in the stomach, and another in the back.

The next morning, Aug. 22, the Fairfield County Sheriff’s office, working with WDPS and SLED, arrested a 17-year-old in connection with a shooting on Aug. 11 on College Street near Spring Street in Zion Hill that left a teen shot twice in the shoulder and in his chin.

Later that same day, the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office arrested 18-year-old Chazzon Kennedy under a WDPS warrant in connection with a drive-by shooting in the Chatham Forrest neighborhood. He was charged with attempted murder.

Another teen, 19-year-old Quinshawn Ditrakius Hill, was also arrested at the same time after an attempted murder warrant had been issued for his arrest. He was also charged with possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Both were booked into the Fairfield County Detention Center.

Seibles believes most of the drive-by shootings seem to be acts of retribution.

“There are little groups going back and forth,” Seibles said. “It’s retaliatory.”

Mayor John McMeekin said it’s imperative to put an end to the shootings.

“We feel we have identified the shooters and when they are apprehended, we will pursue justice to the fullest extent of the law,” McMeekin said.

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