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Suspect in St. Helena Island shooting surrenders

By Tony Kukulich

A suspect wanted in connection with a May 2022 shooting on St. Helena Island turned himself into the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, Sunday, Aug. 7.

Upon his arrest, Dakari Ayise, a 25-year-old Beaufort resident, was charged with attempted murder and possession of a fire during the commission of a violent crime. He was incarcerated at the Beaufort County Detention Center and awaiting a bond hearing. According to county records, Ayise remains in confinement.

Darius Ayise, the 21-year-old brother of Dakari Ayise, was killed when the brothers exchanged gunfire with another man who has not been identified. Investigators said the shooting stemmed from an ongoing dispute between the men.

The Island News previously reported that three people – the two Ayise brothers and an unnamed woman – were traveling in a vehicle near the 400 block of Seaside Road at approximately 5:30 p.m. on May 27. Gunfire was exchanged between the occupants of the vehicle and a man standing outside of a residence on Seaside Road. Both brothers were injured by gunfire.

The two shooting victims were driven to a nearby gas station where they were met by deputies and Beaufort County Emergency Medical Services paramedics. Both men were transported by ambulance to Beaufort Memorial Hospital, where Dakari Ayise was treated and released. Darius Ayise was transferred to Medical University of South Carolina for treatment of a more serious injury. He died June 2 as a result of his gunshot wound.

A Sheriff’s Office investigation recovered two handguns from inside the vehicle in which the trio was traveling. Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Dakari Ayise, who could not be located after his release from the hospital. The Sheriff’s Office advised that he was considered armed and dangerous.

The identity of the man who fired the shots that killed Darius Ayise and injured Dakari Ayise has not been released. It is unknown at this time if he faces charges in the incident.

Tony Kukulich is a recent transplant to the Lowcountry. A native of Wilmington, Del., he comes to The Island News from the San Francisco Bay Area where he spent seven years as a reporter and photographer for several publications. He can be reached at tony.theislandnews@gmail.com.

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