CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Investigators with the Charleston Police Department have arrested a 27-year-old man in connection to the downtown Charleston shooting of 5-year-old Tyreik Gadsden.
"I'm very happy to announce we've arrested Calvin Brown Jr.," said CPD Chief Greg Mullen during a Friday evening press conference in the area Tyreik had been shot, 14 days ago on Mary and America streets."This conclusion is just the beginning of this case."
Brown has been charged with two counts of attempted murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.
Police made the arrest Friday afternoon. Mullen said more arrests are likely for those who protected Brown.
"I can promise you, anyone who was involved in this case in anyway that either assisted Mr. Brown concealing this crime or was involved in impeding our investigators as we attempted to solve it will be dealt with significantly as we move forward," Mullen said.
Mayor Joe Riley was also on hand at the press conference, and called Tyreik's shooting unacceptable.
"That kind of reckless behavior and no regard for life or rules of law is not and cannot be tolerated in this community, and then to do what they did and shoot a child is beyond unpardonable, it could not be more unacceptable," Riley said.
Mullen and Riley also thanked the community who came forward for Tyreik.
"The community has been very much involved in their assistance. I can't say enough about their assistance," Mullen said."We were getting tips on a regular basis. All of those tips were leading us down the same path. For this community we are thankful. For our city we are thankful and for Tyreik and his family we are thankful."
Mayor Riley also praised the police department's work on the case.
"They are the best in the country, and in this instance they, as always, left no stone unturned until they began to bring justice to those responsible for this horrible act of shooting a little boy in the playground while he was visiting his grandmother," Riley said."To the citizens of this community, they have our profound thanks for stepping up. They gave the police department information."
"This has been a multifaceted investigation," Mullen said. "I thank the detectives, officers and support staff for their hard work to bring this case to a positive conclusion. I also hope this arrest brings some comfort to Tyreik's family."
The shooting happened on May 22 when someone fired gunshots in the area of Mary and America Streets.
One of the shots hit Gadsden in the back, and as a result he has been left paralyzed. A man was also shot in the leg and suffered minor injuries.
Mullen said every officer and detective in the department who was working the case was personally affected by the nature and victim of the crime.
"We've had a picture of [Tyreik] in our detective bureau since the beginning of this case," Mullen said."The officers and detectives came in and they see that, and that's a symbol for us that we had to solve this case."
Tyreik has since been moved out of the intensive care unit at MUSC Children's Hospital and is no longer considered to be in critical condition, but his grandmother says the bullet remains lodged in his spine and he is currently paralyzed from the waist down.
Tyreik is currently at a hospital in North Carolina receiving specialized treatment.
"I spoke to him about 30 minutes ago and he wanted to tell all the detectives, and all the police officers that were on the case,'Thank you,'" Mullen said."His spirit has kept us all thankful and moving forward."
"I've visited Tyreik in the hospital and it was of course heart wrenching and it was a sight I will never forget as long as I live," Riley said."This little boy who was severely injured, shot, and paralyzed in the hospital showed energy...he had fight and spirit. To see that amazing smile on this little boy's face, even though he's had this terrible injury, gave even more resolve to our police department, as I know it did to the citizens of our community."