SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Police and deputies in Spartanburg County said they need your help putting an end to drive-by shootings.
Driving in Spartanburg County, it’s all too evident where crime has taken a toll.
In one week, Spartanburg Police said there have been at least two reports of drive-by shootings in the city. It’s a similar case in the county, with at least two other cases reported to the Sheriff’s Office.
In those four cases, law enforcement said no one was injured. However, there was some damage left behind.
Deputies investigating drive-by shooting in Spartanburg Co.
“This hits home real hard,” said Spartanburg County resident, Joyce Farr. “And it’s just something I can’t swallow.”
Drive-by shootings are crimes that Farr said are personal to her.
“I had a son killed in my neighborhood in Roebuck in 2005 by a drive-by shooting,” Farr explained.
On Wednesday afternoon, in broad daylight, the crime was close to her again. This time in Spartanburg while she was at work.
“We had kids inside the Bethlehem Center that were in the the after-school program. As the kids started arriving, we heard about six gunshots with a car speeding up the road,” said Farr. “We put the place on lockdown and came out to see what was going on.”
That’s one of the cases Spartanburg Police is actively investigating.
“For us, it’s all about safety for the community, and so we’re responding when the community calls,” said Maj. Art Littlejohn, Spartanburg Police. “We are hoping that when we get there we are able to receive the information. We can only go off of information that we receive, either from the caller, the 911 operator, or people who are there that are willing to share information with us.”
Major Littlejohn said, despite the recent reports, trends for assaults involving firearms are right on track for this time of year, if not slightly lower.
“We are hoping that trend continues throughout the year and actually lowers,” said Littlejohn.
In the county, deputies said there were 67 drive-by shootings reported last year and about half that number so far this year.
Bullet holes found in Spartanburg Co. home, car from drive-by shooting
“I see police patrolling this place pretty often. They roll by a couple times a day,” said Tim Onufriychuk, Spartanburg County resident.
Onufriychuk said he’s an electrician and was working Wednesday at a home on Bethlehem Drive when he heard several shots fired in the area.
“I picked up on the fact that it was gunfire,” said Onufriychuk. “I know the difference between gunfire and firecrackers, so it was gunfire.”
Despite a frequent law enforcement presence, Spartanburg County residents said it’s still a bit unsettling after being close to one of the recent drive-by shootings.
Police want to make sure regardless of what you think you heard, report it.
“We ask the public, if you do hear something, you hear shots fired, we want you to give us a call so we can respond and see if it was actually a drive-by shooting,” said Littlejohn. “Let us come and investigate and we’ll decide whether or not it was fireworks or if it was actually gunfire.”
Residents tell 7NEWS they’re hoping something will soon change.
“I hope the area changes. I hope the shootings stop. There are too many young people running around here with guns in their hands,” said Farr.
Local law enforcement said sharing information is vital. They need the community’s help to solve the crimes and put and end to gun violence.