Bullet holes found in third James Island church

VIDEO: Third James Island church hit by bullets

Charleston County deputies are responding to the third incident of bullet holes found at a church in as many days on James Island.

Investigators responded to the Mount Sinai Evangelistic Church of Jesus Christ on Riverland Drive shortly before 9:30 a.m. Friday, according to Charleston County Sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson.

Deputies found about five bullet holes to a stained glass window of the church.

PHOTOS: Bullet holes found at James Island churches

A church elder discovered the damage.

"When I saw it, I said, "it could not be us, not us,'" Elder Jerome Fludd said. "Who would think after the [Emanuel] Nine that this would spill over to James Island and to the other churches."

Investigators believe the shots were fired some time between Wednesday and Friday morning. The church was unoccupied when the shooting occurred, Watson said.

Deputies found some shell casings outside the church, according to Watson.

"I do pray they find a fingerprint on it so they can apprehend that individual because there's a dangerous individual that's running around," Fludd said.

Detectives are canvassing the neighborhood to gather information while investigators process the scene.

Charleston County deputies are working with other law enforcement agencies, including the State Law Enforcement Division and the FBI.

The discovery Friday morning comes as investigators were already working to determine whether similar incidents at two other James Island churches, both on Central Park Road, were connected.

Those churches are less than a half-mile from Mount Sinai Evangelistic Church of Jesus Christ.

The churches either border or are part of the district represented by Charleston City Councilman William Dudley Gregorie.

"If it is the same person we're talking about, someone that is pretty hateful and trying to close the doors of the churches, and under no circumstances can we do that," Gregorie said.

On Wednesday night, Charleston Police responded to the Bethel AME Church on Central Park Drive on James Island after a parishioner discovered bullet holes in the church windows and broken glass in the sanctuary.

A total of four holes were discovered and damage to the church was estimated at $4,000.

Then on Thursday, Charleston County deputies responded to a report of bullet holes in the front windows and door of the James Island United Congregational Church.

That church's pastor said if the shots had been fired during the previous night's Bible study, he would have been in the line of fire.

No suspects have been identified so far.

Anyone with information on the vandalism cases is asked to call Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch at (843) 743-7200 and ask for the on-call Charleston Police Detective or Crime Stoppers at (843) 554-1111.

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