Police search for leads in shooting death of 19-year-old at party

VIDEO: Police searching for clues in deadly Goose Creek shooting

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - Goose Creek police are investigating the death of a 19-year-old man killed in a shooting at a Goose Creek house party.

The Berkeley County coroner says Kyle Shirlin, of Charleston, was pronounced dead at a home on Westerfield Drive, off Crowfield Boulevard.

Coroner Bill Salisbury said more information will follow after the autopsy examination scheduled for Monday.

A Goose Creek Police report states officers were called to the Westerfield Drive home at 12:50 a.m. in reference to excessive vehicles parking on the road and in the area. While en route, officers were advised that a shooting had taken place in the backyard of that location.

"We heard a pop, that sounded like a high caliber handgun," said a nearby homeowner. "Our dogs were barking, and barking, and barking. We looked out the window and by then we saw cars trying to leave the party and they were circling around our cul-de-sac really fast trying to leave."

According to the incident report, when the first responding officer arrived on scene several males and females, who appeared to be in their early twenties and late teens, left the area quickly getting in vehicles. None of the individuals stopped when the officer tried to wave them down.

"There were groups of cars here, and groups of cars on that end and teenagers just running back and forth," said Sarah Allen, a nine-year homeowner in the neighborhood.

Officers found Shirlin in the backyard of the home, the report states. The officer said Shirlin appeared to be bleeding from his chest, and had a backpack next to him.

According to authorities, witnesses say two black males with dreadlocks were trying to get Shirlin's backpack, but a witness shouted at the two men to leave him alone and that the police were coming. The two men then left the area, according to the report.

The witness said he was in the process of shutting the party down when the shooting took place and estimated there were 75-80 people in attendance.

"There was a lot of commotion," Allen said. "I could hear the kids yelling. I saw a couple of young females run down the street from this direction to that direction."

Monday, police said the contents of the backpack are part of the ongoing investigation.

At this time, authorities believe this was an isolated incident.

Neighbors say it's a very quiet neighborhood and they've never dealt with a situation like this before.

"We thought it was maybe someone just playing around or warning someone to move back or whatever," one neighbor said. "Then we saw it had something to do with that party because of all the cars."

"We've never really had a whole bunch of commotion back here," Allen added. "So yeah, it's a pretty quiet peaceful neighborhood which is why I was very shocked about what happened this weekend."

A witness told police Shirlin worked as a valet at the Hyatt Hotel in Charleston, and did not know anyone in the local area. The witness added Shirlin found out about the party from him.

A friend of Shirlin's family said he had moved to Charleston in 2015, and attended a local college briefly. She described him as a loving teen, who had a passion for photography.

The death is being investigated by the Berkeley County Coroner's Office and the Goose Creek Police Department.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator Powell at (843) 863-5200 ext. 2356 or Crimestoppers at (843) 554-1111.

At last check, no suspects had been arrested or identified.

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