FORT MILL, SC – A barrage of bullets interrupted a political gathering in Fort Mill, South Carolina Monday.
Police said that around 6:50 p.m., gunfire sent people scattering near Interstate 77 and Sutton Road.
The group, a local organization for women, told local news outlets that they were meeting on the side of the road, on a bridge overpass, and holding signs in support of President Donald Trump. The gathering coincided with Night Two of the Republican National Convention.
Fort Mill Police say they arrested 23-year-old Marquise Damarius Asomani shortly after the shooting.
One of the supporters on the bridge told local TV station WBTV that he heard the shots, and described the sound. Matthew Ostrowski said:
”All of a sudden, you know, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.”
Fort Mill Police say the North Carolina man was both the driver of the car and the shooter. Police say the car passed by the group multiple times, yelling derogatory remarks and obscenities. On the final pass, witnesses said the driver turned from Sutton Road onto the ramp to northbound Interstate 77 while yelling and firing a gun through the open window.
The shots startled the group but police have not reported any injuries.
”It’s sickening. It’s absolutely sickening. It was ridiculous. There were kids everywhere. They drove by really slow and saw everybody, so they knew exactly who was there.”
In a Facebook post, the Fort Mill Police Department described the moment the gunfire started. They said:
“The driver of the vehicle continued yelling and then extended his arm through the window, while holding what appeared to be a handgun. The victims further stated that, at that moment, they heard several shots fired, and the vehicle then proceeded northbound on the Interstate.”
Police say that as the shooting was happening, a South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper was driving up to the gathering, saw the crime and followed the car onto Interstate 77. The trooper found the car, but not the driver, a short time later near Gold Hill Road and Deerfield Drive.
While at the abandoned car, officers said they saw another car trying to leave the area. In it, they saw a man who matched the description of one of the shooting suspects. Troopers tailed the car and eventually pulled it over, finding evidence that led to the arrest of Asomani.
Several members of the group told local media outlets that they believe it was a targeted attack, motivated by their political affiliation.
One of the organizers told WBTV:
“I think it’s sad honestly that we’re showing support for the president and you have to be nervous about somebody coming and doing this.”
On Twitter, the shooting drew attention from civilians and lawmakers.
U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., tweeted:
“Could you imagine the national media outcry if this would’ve happened to Biden supporters? This person must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Could you imagine the national media outcry if this would've happened to Biden supporters? This person must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.https://t.co/FaV39vMYJK
— Greg Murphy (@RepGregMurphy) August 26, 2020
Trial-attorney-turned-newspaper-columnist Marina Medvin tweeted:
“Three men ‘drove by more than once, making derogatory remarks and yelling obscenities’ at Trump supporters at a calm rally in SC. Then, one of the men started shooting his gun from the vehicle. Did you hear about this in the news? No. Because equity.”
Three men “drove by more than once, making derogatory remarks and yelling obscenities” at Trump supporters at a calm rally in SC. Then, one of the men started shooting his gun from the vehicle.
Did you hear about this in the news? No. Because equity. https://t.co/2LU71mhlNq
— Marina Medvin 🇺🇸 (@MarinaMedvin) August 25, 2020
Retired law enforcement officer Betsy Brantner Smith questioned the lack of mainstream media coverage. She tweeted:
“Trump supporters in South Carolina shot at during overpass gathering including children. Where’s the MSM?”
Trump supporters in South Carolina shot at during overpass gathering including children. Where's the MSM? https://t.co/exdAxZdGbi
— Betsy Brantner Smith (@sgtbetsysmith) August 26, 2020
Police say Asomani is now facing charges for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, unlawful carrying of a pistol, pointing and presenting firearms at a person, and possession of a firearm during a violent crime.
A judge set his bond at $75,000.
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
Meanwhile, Trump supporters at the RNC are urging Americans to vote for Trump again to keep America safe.
Here’s our original report on that.
The Republican National Convention kicked off Monday August 25th, with surprise appearances by President Donald J. Trump and a message that his reelection is the only way to keep America safe.
The convention’s theme for the first night was “Land of Promise.”
Earlier in the day, the Republican Party formally nominated Trump in the roll call.
A video featuring Trump with essential workers in the White House, marked the president’s first surprise appearance of the night. Several speakers during the event thanked Trump for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump also appeared in a video from the White House Diplomatic Room with six Americans who had been held hostage by U.S. adversaries: Michael White, Sam Goodwin, Pastor Andrew Brunson, Joshua and Tamara Holt, and Pastor Bryan Nerran.
Each of the former hostages was freed during the Trump administration.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) slammed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during the first night of the RNC, saying that if Biden wins, America will turn into a horror movie:
“It’s a horror film, really. They’ll disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door.
“And the police aren’t coming when you call in Democrat-run cities – they’re already being defunded, disbanded. Blaming our best and allowing society’s worst?
“That’s the story they write in Hollywood – that’s if the lights even stay on in California anymore.”
The RNC sought to celebrate America and promote an optimistic outlook for the nation’s future, which seemed in stark contrast to the Democratic National Convention held last week.
Mike Huckabee observed:
“The many messages at the Republican Convention were delivered in a deeply personal way, with passion. The speakers didn’t turn off the lights and brood over how dark America is.
“They lit the candles of gratitude for what this nation means to them, and shined forth with the beam of optimism.
“The Democrats held a funeral for America. The Republicans celebrated the life of America and the lives of those who serve and sacrifice to make America great.”
Patricia McCloskey, of St. Louis, spoke and said:
“Make no mistake: No matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America.”
McCloskey and her husband, Mark, were photographed and filmed pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters who were threatening them. The couple had issued a statement indicating they support Black Lives Matter, and Mark represents a client who has filed a police brutality lawsuit.
Mark McCloskey has also donated to both Democratic and Republican candidates, according to Politifact.
Actress Alyssa Milano criticized former NFL athlete Herschel Walker for showing his support for Trump during the first night of the Republican National Convention.
Milano, a Joe Biden supporter, targeted Walker in a tweet saying that Trump “is a champion of social justice.”
Walker, who is black, dismissed the notion that Trump is racist:
“Growing up in the deep south, I’ve seen racism up close. I know what it is. And it isn’t Donald Trump.
“Just because someone loves and respects the flag, our National Anthem, and our country doesn’t mean they don’t care about social justice. I care about all of those things and so does Donald Trump.”
The first night of the RNC closed with a pair of speeches from two South Carolina Republicans — former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Senator Tim Scott — who painted President Trump as the candidate who will keep the American dream alive.
Scott warned that a Biden-Harris ticket is one that will turn the country into a socialist utopia:
“Make no mistake: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want a cultural revolution. A fundamentally different America.”
Scott slammed Biden’s words and actions:
“Joe Biden said if a Black man didn’t vote for him, he wasn’t truly Black.”
Scott also said:
“Joe Biden said Black people are a monolithic community. Joe Biden said poor kids can be just as smart as White kids.”
Scott criticized Biden for his involvement with the 1994 crime bill that disproportionately affected the black community:
“And while his words are one thing, his actions take it to a whole new level.”
Scott spoke about Trump’s criminal justice reform law, which he said:
“Fixed many of the disparities Biden created and made our system more fair and just for all Americans.”
“So, when it comes to what Joe Biden says he’ll do, look at his actions. Look at his policies. Look at what he already did and didn’t do while he’s been in Washington for 47 years.”
A caller who identified himself as a lifelong Democrat told C-SPAN late Monday that he will be supporting Republicans this year after being inspired on the opening night of the Republican National Convention, citing the “heartfelt way” participants “came across to the American people.”
The caller, who identified himself only as Rick, from Lorain, Ohio, told the station that he liked the way Republicans embraced the word “God.”
The official meeting of the RNC delegates Monday morning emphasized the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance after a committee and a caucus meeting omitted the words from the pledge during the DNC.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!