Witnesses recall shooting at graduation party, 3 people hurt

ABBEVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The quiet Tuesday afternoon at an Abbeville home in Grey Rock Estate was nothing like last Saturday night.

“I came to the party – my little brother’s graduating. Ready to turn up, have some fun,” recalled Natyreez Crawford. Natyreez Crawford was one of the many people at Betty Ubah’s home celebrating one of life’s biggest milestones.

“My granddaughter asked me to have her a graduation party,” said Ubah.

Witnesses say fighting turned violent around 1 a.m. Sunday.

“Several rounds going off,” Crawford said. When shots rang out they said people ran for cover.

“Whenever that bullet hit she was yelling out help right after I got up and started back running,” said Maleke Callahan. The Abbeville Sheriff’s Office says two female teenagers were shot at that party. One suffered a gunshot wound to her left shoulder, while another suffered a gunshot wound to the right forearm.

Maleke Callahan says he saw one of them bleeding.

“Her arm like was running, running down her arm. I’ve never seen nothing like that in my face – somebody get shot,” said Callahan. “I was just yelling for her brother’s name and I picked her up and he met me half way and we put her in the car.”

It’s a scene these people say they never expected.

“It feels like… almost like I’m responsible but I know that I’m not because as many parties I’ve had, I’ve never had any trouble,” said Ubah.

It’s the kind of trouble Crawford says is uncommon for that community.

“My little brother or my grandma in the house could’ve gotten hit by one of those stray bullets, you know,” said Crawford. “It really like opened my eyes a little bit because stuff like this doesn’t happen in Abbeville.”

He says they’re thankful things were not worse.

“People fight or whatever but it never gets to the point where me and my brothers or I get to a point where I’ll pull out a gun and take somebody away from their momma,” said Crawford. “Personally, I like trying to make people smile everyday – try to be a blessing to somebody because life’s too short. Life’s too short.”

The Abbeville Sheriff’s Office says the victims were treated at local hospitals.

Deputies say a third victim was struck by a vehicle as they fled the scene.

Investigators don’t think the victims were the intended targets in the shootings.

No arrests have made yet, but the sheriff’s office says investigators are working around the clock. They’re working with investigators from the Greenwood Police Department to follow up on leads.

Anyone with information is asked to come forward by calling the department at 864-446-6000 and asking to speak with Lt. Matthew Graham.

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