‘Get down!’: Family in traffic jam takes cover in Myrtle Beach shooting that killed officer

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — More than a dozen gunshots went off, firefighters ran into the street, and Brittany Ezell and three kids were stuck in a traffic jam. 

“Oh my God, what do I do? I don’t know what to do,” she yelled, as a car on the opposite side of the street raced away from the shooting around 14th Avenue South and Yaupon Drive on Saturday night. A video she shared with News13 starts with gunfire.  

READ: SLED investigating officer-involved shooting in Myrtle Beach

Within 15 seconds of the shots, a firefighter waved his hands and told people “get down in your car.” Ezell echoed, “get down, they said, get down,” to the kids with her. 

They were heading home from vacation in Myrtle Beach. 

“I was taking the back roads because all the sudden we seen all these cop cars just coming from every direction,” Ezell told News13. “So I didn’t want to go the main way because I thought that’s where everyone was coming from and then we just kinda got stuck in traffic.”

READ: Myrtle Beach mayor asks for ‘heartfelt prayers’ after officer-involved shooting

Then, she saw officers “running every which way and then the shooting started.” 

With two teenagers and a three-year-old child, “my first thought was I didn’t want a bullet coming through my windows or anything but just get them down in the floorboard,” Ezell said. 

In less than a minute, a firefighter told her to turn the car around and get away. “I can’t breathe,” someone in the car said.

Ezell told the children again, “everybody get down,” and ordered them to put pillows over their bodies. 

In less than two minutes, she was on the highway, away from the gunfire. “It’s okay. It’s okay. Let me lock the doors.” 

She took the children to McDonald’s, but they couldn’t eat. “They felt nauseous. I said it was just their nerves and it would calm down in a little while and they ate their food after about 30 minutes and then went to sleep.”

During a stop on the trip home, Ezell recounted to News13 another shooting last spring involving gangs in downtown Myrtle Beach. “It happened five minutes after we left there.” She said she heard about it by the time she got home. 

“We wasn’t in it that time,” Ezell said. “Forever, I have always come to Myrtle Beach like during the summer time every year and past few years it’s just gotten crazy. It’s not like it used to be at all.”

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