COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Authorities in Columbus County are looking into seeing if a nightclub off of Wildlife Club Road is operating illegally after a shooting that allegedly happened there just before midnight Saturday. Tuesday, Sheriff Batten expressed concern that outsiders may be going to the club to party, disturbing the community.
The hospital in Loris, SC notified the sheriff's office someone in the county had been shot and was at the hospital getting treatment.
According to deputies, Densel Hemingway told authorities he saw two men arguing at the club off Wildlife Club Road, then heard gunshots and ran into the woods. That's when Hemingway says he noticed he was shot in both feet.
When officials went to the club to investigate, people there said they didn't see anything or know about a shooting. However, Tuesday, Sheriff Batten said that two people have come forward since the shooting, claiming that their cars were struck by bullets.
Deputies are unsure if the establishment sells alcohol, and they are looking into the business to determine if it's operating as an illegal club.
Monday, some people living in the area said that the club has given them problems in the past.
The building is referred to as the Wildlife Club, and the group of stockholders who own it rent it out to people for parties and wedding receptions.
Sheriff Batten says that Saturday's reported shooting marked the first time his agency has responded to a problem at the building, but, police in Tabor City say that although the building isn't in their jurisdiction, they've had a couple of roadblocks in the past to combat issues there.
Batten says that now that the problems have been brought to his attention, his department is investigating to see if the building is operating illegally.
"It kind of concerns us now that outsiders, particularly on the edge of South Carolina in Loris and the Green Sea area, are coming in and having parties in our county on the edge of Lake Tabor and causing a disturbance to the community, when a lot of local residents aren't involved," said Batten.
Batten says that people need to remember that although they may rent a building in the county, it's still illegal to serve alcohol.
Curtis Nealy, the man who rents out the building, says that parties don't take place there every weekend, and he shouldn't be responsible for what someone who rents the building does.
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