Attorney for N. Charleston teenager killed in shooting considering filing civil suit

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A lawyer representing an unarmed teenager, who police say was shot and killed over a stolen car, is considering filing a civil suit.

On Monday, North Charleston police announced no charges will be filed against the person who shot the teen.

The incident happened on Celestial Court about two weeks ago.

The North Charleston Police Department says while the incident is tragic it is not reasonably prosecutable under state law.

A statement says investigators weighed numerous state laws that include the Persons and Property Act that has become known as "Stand Your Ground" law.

That law in some cases can gr ant immunity from prosecution to people for actions recognized as being committed in the act of self-defense.

Authorities say 15-year-old Derrick Grant was shot and killed inside a stolen car.

"Anytime you lose a loved one the immediate answer is why, how, and when," said Mark Peper, the attorney representing Grant's family. "We know how. We know when. But we still don't know why. We do know what the shooter told the investigators happened."

According to North Charleston Police, the car belonged to the shooter's girlfriend.

The teen was spotted getting in the car on Celestial Court near the girlfriend's home when the shooter confronted him, authorities say.

"Instead of waiting for law enforcement to arrive or explaining to law enforcement that he had located his car that he had reported stolen the day prior, he took the law into his own hands," Peper said.

Peper says the North Charleston Police Department told him it considers the incident to be a lawful citizen's arrest and that the shooter had a reasonable fear for his life.

The shooter talked with a 911 dispatcher after the shooting saying he saw the teen reach for something in the car after telling him to stop.

Police say the teen was unarmed.

"The dangers in this citizen's arrest theory that North Charleston has come up with is that it sets an awfully dangerous precedent for the community," Peper said."Legal training is required. When cops go to make an arrest they do so using training."

Peper's law firm investigators will continue to look into the case.

He says North Charleston police told him the shooter attempted to call 911 first, but handed the phone to his girlfriend's mother because 911 operators hadn't picked up by the time the teen was walking towards the car.

Here's the full statement from the North Charleston Police Department:

"The death of Derrick A. Grant is a tragedy for his family and for this community.  Because of the seriousness of this incident and the legal principles implicated by these facts, we have consulted with the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office in this matter.  After reviewing the case and all available evidence, we have determined that this incident, however tragic, is not reasonably prosecutable under the law of the State of South Carolina.  Therefore, the North Charleston Police Department will not be filing any criminal charges.  The Solicitor's Office has voiced its support of our decision." 

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