Bond set for man who brought loaded gun to N. Charleston church

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Bond has been set for a Folly Road man accused of bringing a loaded gun to a North Charleston church service.

Harold Kroninger, 23, is charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol and was given a $50,000 bond Tuesday.

His parents and fiancee claimed in court that loud music, crowds and flashing lights gave him anxiety, which prompted him to keep a gun on his person in the church. Kroninger has also been ordered to stay away from Awaken Church on Leeds Avenue where the incident took place. He's also not allowed to possess a firearm of any type.

Executive Pastor Shawn Ferguson described Kroninger as "troubled" and said North Charleston Police detained him without incident.

Shortly before noon on Sunday, Feb. 4, officers responded to the church on Leeds Avenue for a report of an unknown male "acting nervous" during church service.

An off-duty officer was serving at the church when he was approached by a church staff member about a suspicious man in the lobby, an incident report states. The man was described as "always looking over his shoulder and scanning the room" and said he immediately left the sanctuary when a speaker asked everyone to shake hands, the report states.

The off-duty officer approached Kroninger who was standing in the lobby watching a TV screen. Kroninger answered the off-duty officer's questions but would not engage in conversation and made "quick jerky movements checking over both of his shoulders and continuously turning his back against a wall when someone would walk behind him," the report states.

The off-duty officer then called Charleston County dispatchers to request police respond. When North Charleston Police arrived, they asked if Kroninger had an ID, at which point Kroninger reached behind his jacket and the off-duty officer spotted a gun magazine, the report states. He was then taken into custody without incident, police say.

Police found a loaded Glock 17 9mm handgun and an additional magazine, the report states. Kroninger told police he had purchased a box of ammunition on his way to the church. Police also found a loaded Ruger inside the center console of the Kroninger's vehicle, the report states.

Police are continuing the investigation.

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