CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - In just the first three months of 2019, more than 460 callers have reported what they believed to be gunshots in Charleston County, and half of those calls came from inside North Charleston Police Department’s territory.
Every single call is investigated, NCPD Deputy Chief Delmar Johnson said, but many of the reports turn out to be something more innocent than a shooting.
“Normally they are anonymous calls,” Johnson said. “Sometimes what they perceive to be a shots fired call turns out to fireworks or a car back firing.”
A more recent example of this happened Thursday morning. Johnson said a call for shots fired turned out to be a paint can exploding.
“It could be numerous things that people perceive to be gunfire, but then they turn out to be, luckily, not to be gunfire,” Johnson said.
However, these types of calls are taken seriously.
On March 27, a “weapons shots heard” call from Dorchester Road turned out to be a drive-by shooting.
The driver of a Chevy pick-up truck said he was driving down the street when another vehicle pulled up beside him and fired shots.
The driver was not injured, but his truck was damaged by the gunfire.
“If there is a shooting, of course that is one of the greatest threats to the community, if someone is hurt by gunfire, so it’s a priority call,” Johnson said.
Authorities believe it’s an encouraging sign that community members are calling about suspicious activity and count the action as a testament to NCPD’s community focus.
“Our violent crime index for this last three months, we are really down,” Johnson said. “Our officers are doing a great job out there. Our citizens are helping us out, so we are more in touch with the community.”