MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - An 18-year-old man facing murder charges told police that he stabbed a man multiple times outside a Walmart in Mount Pleasant.
The Mount Pleasant Police Department charged Darius Green with the murder of 20-year-old David Moultrie on Wednesday.
Court documents indicate that Green provided police with a written statement saying that he had a physical altercation with Moultrie, which led to the stabbing Wednesday afternoon outside a Walmart in the Oakland Market shopping center on US 17 North.
Witnesses described how what started off as a normal trip to the store quickly turned into a terrifying experience.
"Employees were seen running away from cash registers," said witness Dan Wilkins. "Gates were being slid shut by small business owners. Managers were starting to rush people out of the store."
According to Mt Pleasant police, the chaos began when Moultrie, a Walmart employee, and Green got into a fight outside of the store. Police say that is when Green stabbed Moultrie, who then staggered back into Walmart's lobby where he collapsed and later died.
Shortly after the stabbing, Wilkins and his daughter, Kelsie were inside the store shopping when they heard a loud noise, which they say sounded like a gunshot. The sound sent employees and customers scrambling for a place to hide.
"They were yelling 'get out, get out!' " Wilkins recalled.
Police later said that the loud noise was caused by a falling shelf. Police say it is unusual to see a violent crime like this in Mt Pleasant and in the middle of the day in a crowded area.
"The possibility of becoming a victim of violent crime in Mt. Pleasant is very slim but it does happen," said Capt. Stan Gragg of the Mt. Pleasant Police Department.
In the last six months there's been more crime in Mt. Pleasant than there has been in the last five years.
"This is a pretty safe community in Mt. Pleasant, so this is a real surprise," Wilkins said.
Earlier this month, in the same shopping plaza, two men forced their way into the back of a restaurant, shooting one of the store managers and making off with cash. Those suspects have since been arrested.
In Wednesday's stabbing, Mt. Pleasant police say they detained Green in Awendaw shortly after the fight.
Police closed the Walmart for several hours while they were investigating, but it reopened later Wednesday night.
Green faced a bond court judge Thursday morning who told him his case would have to be sent to a higher court to have bond issued. Family members from both the victim and suspect's sides were in court on Thursday morning. They told Live 5 News that the whole situation was surreal.
"I couldn't believe it. It doesn't feel real, but it is because I saw him on that screen in bond court," said Kenneth Cook, Green's cousin.
Family members of the victim did not want to speak to media at bond court. Green has been sent back to the Charleston County Detention Center where he will wait for another court hearing.