Police: Crosstown fatal shooting victim was being investigated

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Authorities say a 22-year-old man who died off the Crosstown this past weekend after being shot multiple times was being investigated by police.

According to a police report, detectives with the Charleston Police Department narcotics unit had an open investigation on William D. Nelson III who died early Sunday morning.

The Charleston County Coroner's Office say Nelson was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds.  A police report released on Monday indicates that detectives believed Nelson was dealing drugs out of location on Todd Street.

Charleston Police Department spokesman Charles Francis said the Sunday morning shooting happened at the Septima Clark Expressway's intersection with Line Street around 12:41 a.m.

After receiving reports of shots fired, officers arrived on scene to find Nelson lying in the median of the Crosstown, suffering from gunshot wounds.

Officers say as they were responding to the incident, they noticed a white van and the driver flagging them down. When officers arrived they found Nelson on his stomach directly on top of the elevated median on Highway 17.

EMS responded and declared the victim dead on scene.

The driver of the van said he was returning home from the airport when he passed what he believed to be an intoxicated person on the median. The driver returned to the victim, saw blood and called 911.

Officers say they located two small tubes, one purple and the other orange, on the ground next to the victim. An incident report states that both of the tubes contained a white power substance.

A witness told officers that he and a friend were walking the dog outside of his home on Nunan Street when they heard five to seven gunshots. According to the witness, he and his friend went back inside the home and looked outside and saw a vehicle leave a parking lot on Nunan Street at a high rate of speed.

The witness said that he believed two men were in the vehicle and reported that 20 minutes later he saw the same vehicle return to the parking lot.

Another witness told police he heard four to six gunshots from what he believed was from a small caliber gun. The witness said as he was pulling out of his driveway, he saw four male suspects wearing all black clothing fleeing on foot west on Line Street towards Ashley Avenue.

The witness reported that two of the suspects were wearing shorts. Two neighbors told Live 5 News they heard five shots just outside their homes.

"It's alarming to see your neighborhood and your house lit up by blue lights and flares late at night," said Nicolas Browning, who returned to his house on Rutledge Avenue just after 2 a.m. Sunday. "It's always scary."

But Browning says where he lives, on the corner of the Crosstown and Rutledge Avenue, always has a bluish glow after nightfall.

"Any given night of the week if it's a Monday night or a Friday night you can come out here and the whole city seems to be lit up with blue lights by 2 a.m.," said Browning.

Browning and his neighbors say the gunshots no longer surprise them.

"I call it the cops corner," said Browning. "It's the no cable needed house."

If you have any information regarding this crime, call Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.

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