NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - North Charleston police say three separate New Year's Day shootings in North Charleston that left two women dead and one injured do not appear to be targeted acts of violence towards women.
Police say just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, a woman was found shot to death at a home on Ventura Drive in North Charleston. According to a police spokesman, a family member was inside the home, heard gunshots and then found the woman lying on the floor.
The victim has been identified by the coroners office as 49-year-old Debra Randall Martin of North Charleston.
"I heard a pow, pow, pow and I said God what is that? My daughter said it was fireworks," said Jeanette Drayton who lives next door."
"it's sad that it's in the neighborhood that I do live in, kind of scares you because it's so close, dour doors down," said Angie Owen.
Investigators say shell casings were found in the front yard and it appears the front of the home was struck by bullets.
The two other shootings occurred early Wednesday morning. The first happened in the 2300 block of Aintree Avenue and the second happened in the 3900 block of Niagara Drive.
Police officers responded to Aintree Street just before 5 a.m. and found the victim inside near the front door of the home suffering from gunshot wounds. The victim's husband told investigators his wife went to answer a knock at the door, and that's when someone fired multiple shots through the door.
Police say the front door had several bullet holes, and multiple shell casings were found on the ground.
An incident report states the victim had wounds to her head and hip, and was transported to the Medical University of South Carolina.
Police were called out to a shooting on Niagara Street around 5:40 a.m. The victim was found inside the home near the front door suffering from gunshot wounds.
The victim, who died as a result of her gunshot wounds, has been identified by the coroner's office as 52-year-old Janet Royal.
Royal's son said he heard knocking at the front door and when his mother went to answer the door he heard several gun shots. The woman was transported to MUSC where she later died.
According to an incident report, numerous bullet holes could be seen on the outside of the home, including two holes in the lower portion of the front door.
Multiple bullet casings were found outside the home, including .38 special and .45 caliber casings, officers say.
North Charleston City Councilman Todd Olds says it's no time for residents to panic.
"Just let the community know to be on guard, be safe and keep their eyes out," said Olds.
Police say they have no suspect information at this time and so far, and they are working to determine if the shootings are related.
Authorities say at this point in the investigation, it does not appear shootings were targeted acts of violence towards women.