Tuesday, July 16, 2013
A 23-year-old woman was shot to death while celebrating her birthday early Sunday morning at the Starlight Lounge in Saint George.
Sierra Denise Truesdale of Goose Creek died in the backseat of a friend’s vehicle en route to a hospital, a Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office incident report said.
A man who witnessed the shooting told police that a Walterboro gang calling themselves "Cowboys" were responsible.
According to the report, a deputy responding to the shooting was flagged by a man in a black Chevrolet.
The deputy found the young girl dead in the back seat of the vehicle, with a friend sitting next to hear yelling at her to "wake up."
The deputy said another man walked up to the scene, crying, and said he had witnessed the incident, and that Truesdale was his friend. The deputy asked the man what happened and he said Truesdale was celebrating her birthday with friends and that "everything inside the club was going good."
The man said everyone was dancing, having a good time, and getting along when a group of individuals he knew as "Cowboys" walked into the club. He said the Cowboys, were a Walterboro gang, and usually caused trouble but there weren't any problems at first.
The man said he did not know exactly what happened, but the Cowboys put American flag bandanas over their faces and walked outside and started firing off rounds.
He said he heard someone say Truesdale was shot. He said the Cowboys then left the scene.
Two other witnesses, who were in the car with Truesdale, said they were trying to flee the club when they initially heard shots, but when they got to the car, they could not find Truesdale. A woman said she saw Truesdale crouching down by the vehicle, trying to hide from the gunfire.
The woman said she told Truesdale to get inside the vehicle, but then found Truesdale lying on the ground near the vehicle's back door. She and the driver of the Chevy put Truesdale in the back seat and drove off.
Three other people, a man and two women, were also injured in the shooting. The man was shot in the upper right shoulder and the woman suffered gunshot wounds to her right forearm and midsection. The other female victim was grazed on the right side of her left foot, according to the report.
Dorchester County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Sam Richardson said the bar has no history of significant violence. Investigators say no suspects have been identified. The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the DCSO at 873-5111 or Crime Stoppers 554-1111 if you have any information about this incident.