Berkeley Co. coroner identifies 15-year-old Hanahan shooting victim

Berkeley Co. coroner identifies 15-year-old Hanahan shooting victim
Police work the scene Monday morning (Source: Live 5)
Police work the scene Monday morning (Source: Live 5)

HANAHAN, SC (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Coroner's Office identified the victim in an early-morning shooting in Hanahan.

Payton Robert Velarde, 15, of Goose Creek, died of a gunshot wound, according to Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury.

Berkeley County School District spokesperson Katie Tanner confirmed Velarde is a student in the district, but out of privacy rules, could not identify which school he attended.

Earlier on Friday, Salisbury released a description of the victim saying they had not yet been able to establish his identity.

The description indicated the victim was a white male is in his late teens or early 20s with short dark hair and a tattoo of three roses on his right forearm. Velarde did not have any identification, Salisbury said.

The shooting happened in the 1100 block of Belvedere Drive.

Police got the call for gunshots around 1:30 a.m. and a victim was found on the ground, according to Police Chief Dennis Turner. A neighbor in the area said she heard three gunshots.

Velarde's death was ruled a homicide.The Hanahan Police Department is investigating.

Hanahan Deputy Chief Fowler said this is the first homicide within the city since 2016.

Fowler said police are trying to track down Velarde's whereabouts within the last day to try.

That's part of an effort to track his movement to figure out why and how he got from his home in Goose Creek to the Hanahan neighborhood.

Fowler said they have no reason to believe it was anything other than an isolated incident.

Neighbors describe the community as quiet, and said something like this is out of the ordinary.

"I heard it, that's not super common," said Ryan Chubb."The only other incident was around the area was probably 15 years ago."

One neighbor said despite this happening in their quiet community, they're going to keep moving forward.

"It's still Hanahan," said one community member."It's old Hanahan and we're going to keep chuggin' along. We may have a black eye, but we're going to keep moving along."

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