COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — One man is dead and two women were hurt after a birthday party turned deadly over the weekend in Delco. The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office says the shooting at the Triple K Ranch may eventually lead to shutting down the facility at night.
The Triple K Ranch is a place where children gather after school and where residents of Delco learn to ride horses. But on the weekend at night, neighbors and visitors, like one woman who did not want to identify herself, say it’s a completely different scene.
“You drive in, you pay your money and before you go in security will pat you down and make sure, they normally have a lady outside, so they pat you down and make sure you don’t have any weapons or anything on you,” she said.
That’s when residents of Big Branch Road say the Triple K Ranch becomes a full on club. Customers say most weekends the facility has bouncers, a DJ and even serves alcohol without asking for identification.
Gregory Keith is a part owner of the Triple K Ranch. He says he rents the place out on weekends, but early Saturday things got out of hand when one man died and two teenage girls were hurt in a shooting.
“We’re very concerned, and we’re very sorry that this happened at our place,” Keith said. “Unfortunately it happens all over the community and all over the world.”
Keith says that nothing like this has ever happened on his property before, but the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office says it constantly receives complaints about what happens on weekends at the Triple K Ranch.
“The activity don’t seem to start until 11 or 12 o’clock at night and go on into the daylight hours of the morning,” Sheriff Chris Batten said. Normal activity and fun parties don’t last during this time of the night. They are usually over with by 11 or 12 o’clock and 16 or 17 year olds don’t have any business at parties this time of the night.”
Batten said he planned to talk to the owners about what happened Saturday before determining whether to stop this makeshift club scene from continuing.
“Whatever it takes so this event don’t happen again, to this magnitude, we’re willing to work with the community and the forces,” Keith said.
We spoke with one of the victims of the shooting today off camera. She says that she does not think she was an intended target and that she believes the shooting is gang related.
Deputies are still looking for the gunman.