ROCK HILL, S.C. — Police say two people are recovering after a shooting on the Clinton College campus in Rock Hill early Sunday morning.
The shooting happened just before 1 a.m. during a birthday party that was being held in the school’s gymnasium. Clinton College officials said the gym was rented out Saturday night by a group outside of the school.
“Just imagine how deer come at you when they’re about to hit your car. That’s how those kids were running into the street,” said Rock Hill resident Cran Neely, who was driving by the college when the shooting happened.
When officers got to the school, they found an 18-year-old suffering from gunshot wounds. Shortly after, a 17-year-old arrived at Piedmont Medical Center with a gunshot wound and said they were at the same birthday party. Both teens are expected to be OK.
School leaders said the two victims were not students and the college is cooperating with police and the investigation.
“I knew they weren’t college kids, even though it was on a college campus, and there was fear. You could see the fear,” said Neely.
CLINTON COLLEGE STATEMENT:
"Clinton College is cooperating with Rock Hill P.D. as they investigate a shooting that took place on our campus early this morning. No Clinton College students, faculty or staff were hurt in the incident. The J.W. Martin gymnasium was being rented by an outside group for a birthday party when the shooting occurred. Two people, not related to the college, were injured.
The safety of our students is our top priority, and we ask for your continued support. Counselors will be available on Monday for students, staff and faculty."
No Clinton College students, faculty or staff were hurt during the shooting but counselors will be available on Monday
Authorities have not said what led up to the shooting and no arrests have been made.
While police continue to look for the shooter, Channel 9 learned local high school students organized the party and required tickets to get in. There were adults at the party and four men were at the entrance, either patting people down or going through purses to ensure it was a safe party.
Eyewitness News anchor Elsa Gillis spoke with Tonya George, who was a chaperone at the party. George’s daughter helped organize the event in part for her 18th birthday.
“The party was going well, I mean it was a joy just sitting there watching all these kids together having fun,” George said. “I heard gunshots. I didn’t see who did it or anything, I just heard the shots and at first I ducked. Of course, there was chaos, people were getting trampled. And then, it clicked ‘Where is she at?’ By that time, I just lost it, I was like ‘Where’s my daughter?’"
She said they eventually found each other and learned two people were hurt. George, who was hoping this would be a positive space for area teens, is heartbroken.
“It’s sad that we tried to have something for the kids. Just making sure everybody was going to be safe, that was my whole goal," George said. “We need to come together and talk to these kids. I’m just hurt, I really hurt but I am grateful and I’m thankful that there was no fatalities, that no one died.”
She said they don’t know who did this, but she thinks whoever did must have come in through another entrance.
“If someone knows something it needs to be told,” George said. “You cannot be hiding behind, you know, doors and not speaking if you know something because someone could have lost a life.”
No other information has been released.
This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for more information.
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