Investigators try to link drug arrest to shooting of 5-year-old girl

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - A 5-year-old girl continues to fight for her life Wednesday morning after being shot in the head during an attempted home invasion in West Ashley early Tuesday.

Charleston County sheriff's deputies arrested a man from a nearby neighborhood on drug charges Tuesday afternoon and are investigating to see if there is a possible connection between the shooting and his arrest.

Juan Carlos Grant has a bond hearing at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Deputies hope Grant's case may give them some answers to the shooting on Pierpont Avenue.

Photo Slideshow
Click to view photos

Deputies responded to a Pierpont Avenue home around 1 a.m. after someone fired a shotgun through the front door, hitting a 5-year-old girl in the head and injuring her father. Deputies say the girl's father heard two bangs on the door and when he walked towards it, shots were fired through the door. The girl is in critical condition and the father is expected to be OK.

Shortly after, deputies responded to a burglar alarm call at a home only a half mile from the Pierpont Avenue shooting.

"I heard four loud bangs like somebody slamming their car doors, like one after the other," said Melanie Orr who lives on Catterton Drive in West Ashley.

Orr says just before 2 a.m. she heard loud noises followed by the home's burglar alarm going off. Then, sheriff's deputies showed up.

Deputies say they found 24 pounds of marijuana inside the house and a handgun in the mailbox.

"It's very frightening. It's kind of scary," Orr said. "My neighbors are all worried."

Deputies began searching for the man who lived there, later identified as Grant. He was finally located around 12:30 p.m. in an apartment on Tedder Street in North Charleston and was arrested for trafficking marijuana. Deputies and members of the North Charleston SWAT team led the operation.

Orr's neighbors are wondering if this case has anything to do with the Piermont Avenue shooting since it happened about half a mile away from Catterton Drive, just minutes before that burglar alarm went off.

"It's a little bit much of a coincidence to not look at it in the context of the shooting in terms of timing and distance," Sheriff Al Cannon said during a news conference Tuesday.

The shooting has left people in this neighborhood shocked and searching for answers. More importantly, it has left a 5-year-old girl fighting for her life.

"This is something we think it can't happen to us. This is the scenario," said neighbor Richard Douglas. "This is it can't happen to them, but it could."

Related Stories

Copyright WCSC 2011. All rights reserved.