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

Matthew Allen Dewitt, 25, was arrested in connection with the killings Monday afternoon.
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A South Carolina man was arrested and accused of fatally shooting three of his family members, including his town councilman father, authorities said.

Matthew Allen Dewitt, 25, was arrested in connection with the killings Monday afternoon.

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

The Richland County Sheriff's Department also responded to a home just outside Columbia on 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 is the son of Gloria and James Dewitt, a Richland County Sheriff’s spokesman said Wednesday.

The younger Dewitt was arrested and taken to the J. Reuben Long Detention Center, where he remained Tuesday. Charges are pending, police said.

Authorities have not disclosed the suspect's exact relationship to Stevens or suggested a motive in the shootings. 

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

James Dewitt II is listed as a member of the Atlantic Beach Town Council on its website.

The town did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Also known as the "Black Pearl," Atlantic Beach is a historically Black community 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 they opened hotels, restaurants and night clubs, according to the town's website.

The Horry County Police Department and the Richland County Sheriff's Department continue to investigate.