Community angered by bar patrons

Posted

By VICKI BROWN

vbrown@lowcountry.com

Residents on Sniders Highway are fed up with Sure Shots Bar which is located at 4198 Sniders Highway, and the mayhem created by the bar’s patrons.

With 91 calls to the Colleton County Sheriff’s Department in 2021 alone, local homeowners are ready for a change.

Several times over a period of a year, residents along Sniders Highway have made pleas to county council regarding the unsafe conditions surrounding Sure Shots Bar. On December 7, during Public Input time on the County Council agenda, Mary Craven and Lauren Nettles submitted letters begging council members for help.

According to Mary Craven’s letter read aloud by council chair Steve Murdaugh, bullets fired by a patron hit her house while her children were inside. “We can hear racing cars and loud music at all hours of the night,” her letter stated.

Lauren Nettles made the same complaint. Her letter stated that the residents need help. She said that bar patrons park in her driveway, and they are littering in her yard and on the road. Recently, someone fired a gun from Sure Shots, and the bullets not only hit her house, but they came close to hitting her. “We can hear people yelling until 4:00 a.m.,” said Nettles who has health issues. “We have tried to follow up with the sheriff, but council needs to come up with a solution.”

Nettles went on to ask why a bar would be allowed to operate in a residential neighborhood. Councilman Phillip Taylor also questioned this and asked members to take this problem up with the zoning department and county attorney.

Murdaugh said, “We need to know if there is a noise violation ordinance on the books for the county.” He went on to say that there are definite problems trying to find the people at fault for the noise and gun shots. “By the time law enforcement arrives, the perpetrators are gone. We need to work together to come up with ways to help these residents.”

Dr. Joe Flowers, councilman, remarked that the zoning needs to be revisited and perhaps changed to accommodate families who now live near the bar. “We need to find out if the zoning laws are being violated or if a change can be addressed.”

The calls from residents and other bar patrons have been for vehicle accidents, drag racing, traffic stops, firearms, noise, injuries, and a host of other complaints.

According to a Colleton County Sheriff’s Office incident report, deputies were called to the Sure Shots Bar on Nov. 7th to a report of two men shooting at each other. While enroute to the scene, it was reported that a gunshot victim and suspect had already left the bar. Security officers at Sure Shots told deputies that two vehicles had been in the parking lot with suspects shooting at each other: one person was hit and left. A nearby residence was struck by a bullet in the crossfire, as was a vehicle. The charges were attempted murder, discharging firearms into a dwelling and destruction of property.

The Sheriff’s Department follows the laws on the books and makes arrests where warranted; however, their power is limited and according to county laws, ordinances must be changed to accommodate residents.

With so many calls that take up too much time with deputies being forced to respond to the same location over and over, residents are hopeful for a change and some peace in 2022.

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