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Bloody weekend leaves 4 dead, mayor pleading to trust police

Alan Cleaver

A particularly bloody weekend that left four people dead from gun violence prompted the mayor of a South Carolina city to make a public appeal to see law enforcement as part of the solution.

The victims included an 11-year-old boy in Florence County and a man shot and killed after refusing to give someone a ride in the city of Florence, authorities said.

Also killed in Florence were a 17-year-old and 32-year-old in shootings that remain under investigation, with no arrests made. Investigators haven't announced any links between the four shootings, which happened between Friday night and early Sunday morning,

"Law enforcement is just not here to handle crimes after they happen. Our law enforcement is here to work with the community to prevent these situations from happening," Florence Mayor Teresa Myers Ervin told reporters Monday.

Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler and Florence County Sheriff's Capt. Mike Brandt, standing with the mayor, promised to protect anyone who comes forward with information not only about the killings, but about any violence planned in retaliation or otherwise.

"We need your help. We can't solve these crimes without your input and help," Brandt said.

Florence has about 38,000 people and about 138,000 people live in Florence County.

Along with the four people killed in Florence County, investigators said a 17-year-old student at South Florence High School was shot and killed early Sunday, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) away in Myrtle Beach. DyQuayvyon "Quay" Dickens died and two people were hurt in that shooting. No arrests have been made.

An arrest was made in the shooting of 37-year-old Larry Dontaye Joyner. Florence police said he was shot in his vehicle after refusing to take his neighbor to the store.

In Florence County, an 11-year-old boy was killed early Sunday. Deputies have released few details about the shooting, but said two people are in custody as they determine what charges should be filed.