CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Live 5 News investigation has uncovered an unusual crime that is meant to send a message.
We are talking about victims who are shot in the buttocks, and it happens more often than you might think.
We interviewed a man who calls himself 'Coach,' he knows the streets and several drug dealers.
Though Coach declined to have his face shown on camera, he offered insight into the nature of these shootings.
"That's the only thing a guy will pull out a gun for, drug related. You either rob them, or it's drug related," he explained.
Why shoot someone in the rear end?
"If I were to shoot somebody in the butt, you know, I'm looking at less time. You can't get an attempted murder charge like that. I think that's why they're doing it," Coach said.
Many victims wind up in the hospital.
Dr. Doug Norcross is a trauma surgeon at MUSC.
Norcross says he performs a couple of surgeries a month on victims who are shot in the butt.
"Young guys shooting each other for spite or to make a point. I don't understand. I cannot begin to understand it," Norcross said.
He said the injuries can be serious.
"Some of the consequences can be bad, a lot of bleeding, colon injuries."
They are injuries that can lead victims in a lot of pain and a lot to think about.
We asked Coach, "Why don't the drug dealers kill their targets instead of shooting them in the butt."
"You won't get what he owes you if you kill him. So you kill him, you get nothing and you get time on your hands. You're gonna get caught," he said.
Reverend Eva Smith is pastor at the Charleston County Jail.
Smith works with inmates, many who are locked up for gun violence.
"There's something wrong when it's brothers killing each other to the point where they are shooting them in the backside. Now that is just terrible," Smith said.
Whether it's a trend or a once in a while thing, chances are someone's butt may soon have a bullseye on it.