Police are saying gang activity and a rap video called “Boost The Murder Rate” led to a shooting at a Sumter gas station that left two dead and at least three injured early Sunday.
Three people have been identified so far in connection to rival gangs thought to be involved in the fatal gunfire at the Hop In convenience store, which is at the Sunoco at 1083 Broad St. across from Mariachi's and next to the Sumter Mall, according to Sumter Police Department Public Information Officer Tonyia McGirt.
As police are looking for them and working to identify other potential people associated with the gangs, these three have been identified as suspects on outstanding warrants for unrelated crimes inside and out of the city.
Keyonte Markees McGee, 27, of Camellia Street in Sumter, is wanted on a family court bench warrant. Ellquin Carban Williams, 18, of Utah Circle, is wanted for discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle. Devante Antonio Wilson, 21, of Lenoir Street, is wanted for first-degree attempted armed robbery and discharging a firearm into a dwelling.
McGirt said McGee, Williams and Wilson have not been named as suspects in the shooting. They are wanted for questioning in connection to the rival gangs thought to have been involved in it.
After police responded to the gas station, Gregory Donta Middleton, 30, of White Street, was pronounced dead at the scene. Michael Rogers, 30, of Curtis Drive, was transported to Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital, where he later died. Sumter County Coroner Robbie Baker said autopsies for both victims are scheduled for Tuesday at MUSC in Charleston.
A 26-year-old, Diontrae Epps, of South Purdy Street, and 22-year-old Christopher Ford, of East Wen Le Court, remain in a Columbia-area hospital in critical condition. McGirt said a 19-year-old was treated and released for minor injuries that have been determined not to be caused by a gunshot.
Police think the video, which features one of the individuals reportedly involved, and robberies targeting rival groups led to the gunfire, McGirt said.
The video was posted on YouTube and Instagram on Saturday by a rapper who goes by the name Tae Blocka. Still online on Monday, “Boost the Murder Rate” features someone on the ground covered by a sheet and other people holding multiple assault-style weapons and handguns.
On Sunday, the rapper’s account posted photos of one of the deceased in memoriam.
Up to $5,000 in a cash reward is being offered for information that leads to arrests in this case.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Callers can remain anonymous.
Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers by logging onto www.P3tips.com and clicking on the “Submit a New Tip” tab or by downloading the new P3 Tips app for smart devices.
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