West side gunfire hits two

By DEUCE NIVEN

    Two men were shot during what “evidence suggests” was an exchange of gunfire on Tabor City’s west side Wednesday night, Capt. Russell Conway of the Tabor City Police Department said Thursday.
    Police will need help from the community, and cooperation from the victims to make arrests in this case, Conway said.
    Jeffrey Antwan Billings, 32, was shot in the left wrist and hip while outside his Reese Street home at about 9 p.m. Wednesday, Conway said. Billings told police the gunfire came from a burgundy Chevrolet Blazer with at least two men inside, a report by Detective Sgt. Christopher Hilburn said.
    Davon Jaquest Johnson, 17, of School Street, was shot in his lower right abdomen, Conway said.
    Both Billings and Johnson are expected to survive their injuries, Conway said.
    Police have identified suspects in the case, but don’t have enough yet to make an arrest, Conway said.
    “We’re asking for help from the community,” he said.

One victim, then two
    Police responding to the “shots fired” call found only one injured man, Billings, who would not say who shot him or what happened, Hilburn’s report said. Police found bullet holes in Billings’ home, and shell casings on the ground, evidence that “multiple” shots had been fired.
    As an ambulance responded, Billings “refused to wait for EMS or speak with us and left the scene,” the report said. Someone took Billings to McLeod Loris hospital, Conway said.
    With their patient gone, the Tabor City Emergency Services crew cleared soon after they arrived. Minutes later, police heard “people standing in the street screaming that another person had been shot,” the report said.
    Johnson had been standing near a window at Billings home during the gunfire, and told police that he initially thought a piece of shattered glass struck his side.
    Johnson had gone home before police arrived, Conway said, and was brought back to police at the shooting scene by his mother. He was taken to McLeod Loris by the EMS crew, called back by police.
    Both Billings and Johnson were transferred later Wednesday night to the trauma center at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach.
    See more on this story in the April 23 Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.

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