Gunfight at Simmons Fishing Camp under investigation

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HILTON HEAD

Gunfight at Simmons Fishing Camp under investigation

By ALLISON STICE
astice@islandpacket.com
Published Monday, November 12, 2012   |  406 Words  |  

Beaufort County sheriff's investigators are trying to determine how a gunfight erupted early Saturday in the parking lot of Simmons Fishing Camp on Hilton Head Island.

One question is whether a 27-year-old Beaufort man found with a leg wound accidentally shot himself or was shot by someone else, according to Capt. Bob Bromage.

There were at least two guns in the fight, but only the wounded man has been arrested, Bromage said. He was charged Saturday with discharging a firearm within town limits and with simple possession of marijuana, both misdemeanors, after he was released from Hilton Head Hospital.

Deputies were called to the nightspot at about 2:45 a.m. An argument is believed to have started inside Simmons Fishing Camp before it turned violent in the parking lot, Bromage said.

No other injuries were reported. Several cars were struck by bullets, he said.

"We are still searching for more witnesses and suspects," Bromage said. "We'll hopefully get more over the next couple of days."

The Town of Hilton Head Island has ordered Simmons Fishing Camp to improve or risk losing its business license.

Under town ordinance, the business could be declared a public nuisance if three or more "serious incidents" occur over a six-month period or four or more in a year. A serious incident is defined as an assault or other violations that can injure a person.

Town manager Steve Riley said officials plan to meet soon with the Sheriff's Office to discuss the gunfight. He said he didn't know yet how it could affect the business' license. It was also unknown how many serious incidents have occurred at the business.

Deputies have been called to the club more than 200 times since January 2011.

Attempts Monday to reach business owner Palmer Simmons were unsuccessful.

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