Man gets 30 years for shooting man in the head at N. Charleston convenience store

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A man who shot another man in the head at a North Charleston convenience store was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson announced that a Charleston County jury found Derrick Porter guilty of attempted murder and possession of a firearm during a violent crime.

Wilson said surveillance video that showed the events was a major attribute in acquiring a conviction.

"Vigilant business owners who use video surveillance and recording equipment are playing a major role in helping us solve crimes and convict dangerous criminals," Wilson said."I encourage businesses to invest in a system. In today's market, equipment is reasonably priced. This case may not have been solved and a callous killer may have walked free without it and the cooperation of the business owners."

The incident happened on the afternoon of April 16, 2016.

"After what seemed to be a chance encounter at the entrance of a convenient store, Defendant Derrick Porter waited for the victim, 29-year-old Fritzgerald Byas, to exit the store," Assistant Solicitor Chad Simpson said.

Authorities say once outside, the two spoke within view of two business surveillance cameras.

A report states the conversation became heated, and Byas quickly attempted to walk to his car and leave.

According to authorities, Porter followed him and the confrontation continued at the open driver's side door of Byas' vehicle.

"As the volume and intensity of the conversation escalated, video clearly showed Porter pulling a handgun from his pocket and firing it into the forehead of the seated Byas," prosecutors said. "Following the shooting, Porter casually walked away and left in his vehicle."

Prosecutors say after being located by store employees, Byas was taken to MUSC where doctors saved his life.

According to the solicitor's office, at trial, Porter asserted a self-defense claim, alleging that he fired in response to the victim reaching for his gun.

"Although a gun was located in the victim's rear waistband, the testimonial and video evidence contradicted Porter's claim of self-defense and the jury was not convinced," the solicitor's office said.

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