Owners of Charleston property where mass shooting occurred served with summons
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The city of Charleston and the Charleston Police Department confirmed they are issuing a court summons to the owners of the property where 10 people were shot Monday night.
Police Inspector Michael Gillooly said members of the Charleston Department of Livability and Tourism issued the summons for “public nuisance” to the owners of a South Street property near American Street.
“There are very specific properties that led to these specific bad outcomes and there is accountability. There has to be accountability,” Reynolds says.
Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds said the incident began when a Charleston Police officer responded to a complaint about a loud party at a vacant lot in the 40 block of South Street.
“Immediately the officer took gunfire,” Reynolds said at a Tuedsay afternoon news conference. “Two shots went into his cruiser, and let me tell you something: as we stand here right now, we’re lucky we don’t have a dead cop or dead citizens or dead community members.”
Authorities with Charleston police said the officer took fire as he arrived at the scene, and had not yet left his cruiser when it was struck multiple times by gunfire. At least two rounds came into the cab of the car. At least one round was lodged in the headrest of the officer’s seat, and he was injured from the glass shrapnel as the rounds came in, according to police.
Reynolds said on Friday the lot has been the source of gatherings with “bad outcomes” and was where a lot of the cars for a party were parked Monday night at the time of the shooting.
“There’s also a vacant lot there that has been kind the source of gatherings and the source of these problems and these bad outcomes. Which includes people carrying guns, people creating disorderly breaches of the peace, dealing drugs, thing like that,” Reynolds said.
Police say they are not allowing parking in the lot and will arrest anyone who trespasses or loiters there.
“There are some people who may be put on notice that they have to vacate that area because they specifically have violated the criminal code, violated the law, and created havoc in that community,” Reynolds says.
He declined to go into specifics but said his agency is taking a holistic approach to the investigation into the shooting, including looking into possible ties to gangs, drugs and illegal gun ownership.
So far, Reynolds said none of those connections have been confirmed, but he said they remain top-of-mind.
“It’s one thing to have a legal peaceful party. It’s another when you have gang members, when you have people with guns, when you have people that are disorderly that are spilling out into the streets,” Reynolds said. “It’s something that we’re looking into. It’s something that we consider when we have an event and there’s a lot of signs that occur. People are wearing colors, people are carrying guns, people are violating the law, and those are things that are much different than a normal house party.”
Dale Middleton is the Captain of the Patrol Division. He says there are five districts across the city, and he oversees all the patrol units. Since the shooting, he is working to adjust how his teams patrol, to make sure they are paying attention to threats people send in.
“Even from our response to the initial calls before this incident happened - we’re conducting internal reviews in regards to that to see where we can identify areas where we can improve upon and implement those areas,” Middleton says.
Reynolds says the police force has ramped up its presence in the East Side neighborhood and are working hard to make arrests in the case.
Anyone with information or video from the Monday night incident is asked to call Consolidated Dispatch at 843-743-7200 and ask for the on-duty Charleston Police detective or relay information through Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111.
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