Put Down The Guns Now Rally held in McCormick County

Put Down The Guns Now Rally held in McCormick County

MCCORMICK COUNTY, SC (WFXG) - A community gathering was held on December 4 in McCormick County. This comes a week after two shootings resulting in two deaths and a suspicious fire. Now families and residents are wanting answers.

Over the past weeks there has been a spike in violence in McCormick County. The day after Thanksgiving a shooting at Sapp's Bar and Grille claimed the lives of two men, Joel Turner Jr. and Steven Banks. And the day after that riffle rounds were fired in to a home on Greenwood Hwy and it was later destroyed by a fire; no one was hurt but it is being considered a suspicious fire. The family of Turner, Banks, and Put Down The Guns Now Young People Organization are asking the public to help find who is responsible.
"Its one thing to post on social media about who did it but it takes a real man and woman to walk in to that sheriff's office and tell what you know." says the founder of Put Down The Guns Now Young People Organization.

Sheriff Clarke Stearns with the McCormick County Sheriff's Office says SLED is taking care of the case because they have more resources and there is a pending lawsuit against him for certification. They are still doing all they can to assist so he is pleading for those who saw anything to report it.

"Right now we need a break. We need some sort of solidified information. It's important to recognize that at the incident of the crime, Friday morning after thanksgiving – there was approximately two hundred people present and out of those two hundred not one person has come forth to help us.", says Sheriff Stearns.

The mother of Steven Banks says she will not be able to heal until there is justice served that being the shooter behind bars.

"I pray for you every night and morning that God has mercy on your soul when you are brought to justice, but you are making it harder on yourselves because running is not the answer. Ask God for forgiveness and turn yourself in!", says Bridgette Blair, who is the mother of Steven Banks.

With all of the recent events the sheriff is saturating the community with police presence and that means extra patrol out daily and even having school resource officers ready to be deployed if needed.

The family hopes that their efforts will encourage witnesses to speak up.

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