Family of man killed during burglary, now taking legal action

Published: Apr. 29, 2011 at 7:02 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 29, 2011 at 9:47 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Picture of the scene at Cooper River Boulevard. (Source: Nicole Johnson / Live 5 News)
Picture of the scene at Cooper River Boulevard. (Source: Nicole Johnson / Live 5 News)

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - The autopsy is now complete and a family hopes to take legal action against what they call a wrongful death of their loved one. Authorities say Bobby Gadsden Jr. was shot to death by a homeowner after breaking into that man's home in Moncks Corner.

In their own private investigation, Gadsden's family says a crime scene photo shows his body landed out the back door onto a porch. Gadsden's uncle Tyler Williams says it shows that his loved one was leaving the home he burglarized on Cooper River Boulevard in Moncks Corner at the time he was shot to death.

"He's not a threat to you or anyone else because he's trying to flee. Why would you still take that shot?" Williams asked. "That's a legitimate question for an officer on the scene to say, well that's enough for us to at least investigate."

Williams says another picture released to them from Berkeley County Sheriff's Office shows the things Gadsden had on him at the time including sunglasses and handcuffs, but they say Gadsden did not have a gun, like the homeowner told 911 operators.

"When you listen to the 911 tape, he says 'Oh I saw him coming down the stairs and he had a shot gun, and I shot him,' yet there's no shot gun, and nobody's questioning the 911 tape," Williams said.

Gadsden's family says forensic pathologist Dr. Nicholas Batalis MUSC did the autopsy on Monday. They say he found that Gadsden was shot to death in the back of the head from more than four feet away.

Gadsden family advocate Dr. Zoe Spencer says they've sent complaints to the FBI, US Attorney's Office, and Department of Justice because they don't believe the homeowner was justified under Castle Doctrine because they say Gadsden was not an imminent threat.

"Our primary purpose right now is to get the federal agencies involved in investigating Moncks Corner and Berkeley County for their role in promoting or fabricating evidence. And to encourage the system to look into the matter to possibly hold (the homeowner) accountable," Spencer said.

Moncks Corner Police say in this case there is no evidence the homeowner should be charged for the shooting. They say the law was followed and there were discussions with the solicitor's office before this decision was finalized. At this point police say the burglary investigation is ongoing.

The family is currently arranging private funeral services for Gadsden.

Two other men, Clifford Ramsey and Tyler McCoy are also charged in this burglary, and are currently locked up at Hill-Finklea Detention Center.

Related Story

Copyright WCSC 2011. All rights reserved.