Police blotter for June 30th-July 6th

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Video teaches citizens how to survive shootings

In light of the alarming increase in mass shootings incidents nationwide, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is providing information to citizens and visitors on how they can increase the likelihood of surviving one of these horrifying events.

A YouTube video titled “Surviving an Active Shooter Event-Civilian Response to an Active Shooter” was created by the ALERRT Center at Texas State University.

“We encourage our citizens and visitors to view it in its entirety to become better informed on how to respond to and survive an encounter with an active shooter,” according to a release from the Sheriff’s Office.

The video can be seen at http://bit.ly/294QMiN.

The Sheriff’s Office also reminds citizens and visitors: “If You See Something, Say Something.” Be aware of your surroundings (situational awareness) and trust your instincts when it comes to odd behavior and activity.

Do not hesitate to call 911 to report suspicious people or activity to law enforcement and never assume someone else already has or will.

“Law enforcement would rather receive a hundred calls and have the opportunity to look into the situation than to receive no calls and respond only after the potentially preventable criminal event has already occurred,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Additionally, for more information from the Department of Homeland Security on types of suspicious activity to look out for, visit www.dhs.gov/see-something-say-something/what-suspicious-activity.

Sheriff’s Office investigating Seabrook shooting incident

Just after 10 p.m. June 24, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report of a gunshot victim at a family party in a yard on Delaney Circle in Seabrook.

Deputies talked to numerous witnesses on the scene, while the adult male victim was transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital for treatment of a single gunshot wound to the leg, where he was treated and released.

Witnesses said that at the time the male victim was shot that he and another adult were arguing. Then, gunshots came from a wooded area bordering the yard where witnesses could only see the silhouette of a man who ran away.

Deputies searched the area for the man, but were unable to find him.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Cpl. Jason Malphrus at 843-255-3426 or by calling CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CrimeSC to remain anonymous and for a possible reward.

Man gets 20 years for 2015 shooting

Geoni Najee Clark
Geoni Najee Clark

An 18-year-old Beaufort County man was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison in connection with a 2015 shooting death of another teenager.

Geoni Najee Clark pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for his role in the death of 18-year-old William Kareen Major.

On Jan. 7, 2015, Clark had Major meet with him on Kinlock Road with the intention of stealing a handgun. During the hold-up, Major was shot multiple times and was later found in a church parking lot on Keans Neck Road.

Sheriff needs help finding missing Florida man

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help locating Conner Pace, 27, of Gainesville, Fla.

Conner Pace
Conner Pace

The Savannah Chatham Metro Police Department (SCMPD) told the Sheriff’s Office that it found his vehicle abandoned in a parking garage, and Pace’s family became concerned and filed a missing person report.

SCMPD investigators looked into his credit card activity and found that on June 21 Pace had checked into the Beach House hotel on Hilton Head Island. On the morning of June 22, Pace’s wallet and a few of his personal belongings were found on a lifeguard stand in the vicinity of the hotel.

Sheriff’s Office investigators were contacted by SCMPD investigators and so far efforts to locate Pace have been unsuccessful. Pace was supposed to check out of his room on June 22, but never returned. Sheriff’s Office investigators checked the room and located some other belongings he had left behind.

According to his family, Pace suffers from an undisclosed condition and may be in need of medical attention.

The Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to be on the lookout for Pace and to immediately call 911.

Pace is white; 5 feet, 8 inches tall; and weighs about 250 pounds. He was wearing a yellow golf shirt and blue Ocean Pacific shorts.

Businesses cited for underage drinking

Members of the Bluffton Police Department Special Investigations Unit assisted the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division recently in 26 alcohol-compliance checks at various businesses in Bluffton.

Alcohol compliance checks are used to deter businesses from selling alcohol to underage customers. If youth are able to successfully buy from the establishment, the business is cited.

Of the establishments that Bluffton PD investigators and SLED agents visited, six were ticketed for selling alcohol to an underage person who was working with police.

The businesses cited include: Amigo’s Café, Walnuts Café, Mi Tierra Cantina, Outback Steakhouse, Ranchero Alegre Cuban Restaurant and Agave Restaurant.

Each business ticketed was given a criminal violation and an administrative violation. Each criminal violation ticket was in the amount of $470, and the administrative fine is set by the Department of Revenue, which can vary depending on if the establishment has been fined in the past.

The criminal violation ticket was given to the person who provided the underage individual the alcohol, and the administrative ticket was given to the owner of the establishment.

“When we assist SLED with compliance checks, we hope that all of our businesses are following the law and checking identification accordingly. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen this time around. However, I would like to thank the other 20 businesses that did follow the law and hope they will lead by example,” said Bluffton Police Chief Joey Reynolds.

The businesses in compliance with the checks include: Truffles, Jim ‘N Nicks, R Bar, Supermercado La Mexicana, Nickel Pumpers, Fat Patties, Old Town Dispensary, Cinco, Hinchey’s Chicago Bar and Grill, Chin Dynasty, Parker’s Gas Station, Southern Barrel, Station 300, Breland’s Liquors, Blue Water Gas Station, Pour Richards, La Nortena, Big Jims Liquor, Enmark Gas Station and Baleada Express.

Public’s help needed in cold-case investigation

On June 24, 1972, Michael Steven Akey, 14, was reportedly abducted by an white man who was driving a 1962-63 four-door Chevrolet near a watermelon patch at Trammell’s Market in Burton. In 1972, Trammell’s Market was located in the area of Joe Frazier Road and Godwin Road.

Michael Steven Akey
Michael Steven Akey

At the time of the abduction, Akey was with two friends, and all three were hitchhiking and caught a ride with the suspect.

While Akey’s two friends were stealing watermelons, the man drove off with Akey. The boy was not seen alive again.

On Feb. 8, 1978, workers discovered skeletal remains while clearing land near Whitehall Plantation on Lady’s Island. The remains were examined by a forensic pathologist and anthropologist, and using existing available technology, it was believed the remains were those of Akey.

The remains were exhumed on Aug. 2, 2005, from Beaufort National Cemetery for DNA analysis to firmly establish the remains were in fact Akey. The FBI laboratory in Quantico, Va., performed the analysis and concluded the remains were of Akey.

A reward of up to $2,500 is offered for information leading to an arrest in any Beaufort County Cold Case.

If you have any information regarding this cold case, contact Capt. Bob Bromage at 843-255-3402, 843-816-8013 or at robertb@bcgov.net; or by contacting Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC (274-6372). You can also text the word TIPSC with a message to CRIMES (274637).