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South Carolina councilman and two family members fatally shot by a relative, officials say

A South Carolina man is in custody after allegedly fatally shooting three of his family members, including an Atlantic Beach councilman, according to the Horry County Police Department.

Matthew Allen Dewitt, 25, was arrested in connection to the murders Monday afternoon.

Police responded to a home in Horry County on the eastern coast of South Carolina Sunday afternoon to investigate a death they determined to be a homicide. The victim was identified by the Horry County Coroner’s Office as 52-year-old Natasha Stevens, police said.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department also responded to a home just outside of Columbia, South Carolina, Sunday evening for a welfare check.

“Upon arrival, deputies found two people dead with apparent gunshot wounds,” according to police in Horry County. “The Richland County Coroner’s Office has identified the victims as Gloria Dewitt and James Dewitt, II, both 52, of Columbia.”

Matthew Allen Dewitt was arrested and taken to the J. Reuben Long Detention Center where he remains as of Tuesday. Charges against him are still pending, according to police.

Atlantic Beach town councilman James Dewitt II
James Dewitt II. Town of Atlantic Beach

James Dewitt II is listed as a councilman for the town of Atlantic Beach on their website.

The town of Atlantic Beach did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Also known as the “Black Pearl,” Atlantic Beach is a historically African American community located just north of Myrtle Beach. African Americans came to the coastal town because segregation laws meant they couldn’t use the same beaches as white people and in the early 1930s opened hotels, restaurants and night clubs, according to the town’s website.

The Horry County Police Department and Richland County Sheriff’s Department are continuing to investigate the three homicides.

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