SLED charges man with attempted murder in officer-involved shooting

911 Audio: Officer-involved shooting in West Ashley

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division announced on Wednesday that a 26-year-old man has been charged with one count of attempted murder in connection to an officer involved shooting that happened in West Ashley.

Mark Blake Jr. was arrested on Saturday following a shooting in West Ashley that ended with him and Charleston police officer Cory Goldstein in the hospital.

The Charleston Police Department also sent out a release on Wednesday stating that Chief Greg Mullen will hold a press conference Thursday afternoon in regards to the incident.

An affidavit released by SLED on Wednesday reports that the incident began on Saturday around 11:37 p.m. when Goldstein conducted a traffic stop on a Hyundai Elantra, driven by Blake, at the entrance ramp to I-526 East from Savannah Highway.

SLED reports that Blake left his vehicle and took off on foot which started a pursuit between he and Goldstein.

The affidavit states that while running from Goldstein, Blake abruptly stopped and turned to face the officer, then pointed a black glock 22 and fired several shots at the officer. According to SLED, Goldstein then fired several shots from his weapon at Blake.

Officials with SLED report Goldstein was struck several ties in the chest, arm and leg, while Blake was hit in the arm and leg. The affidavit states Blake fell to the ground and was immediately taken into custody by other officers of the CPD.

Blake is also facing a charge of failure to stop for blue lights.

Goldstein is recovering from his wounds, and was released from the Medical University of South Carolina on Tuesday. Blake remains at the hospital undergoing treatment for two gunshot wounds. His bond has been revoked.

According to a Charleston police incident report, Goldstein tried to pull Blake over near the intersection of Savannah Highway and Dupont Road around 10:40 p.m., but Blake refused to stop. The report does not say why Goldstein pulled Blake over.

The report states Blake's vehicle came to a stop after it crashed while turning onto the on-ramp of Interstate 526 from Savannah Hwy.

After the vehicle crashed, Blake fled on foot and Goldstein followed behind, according to the report. The chase took place around the area of a nearby Miyabi's.

The foot chase ended behind the Comfort Suites, located at 2080 Savannah Highway, where "the suspect engaged in gunfire and the officer instantaneously returned fire," the report states. One witness said she heard about 10 gunshots fired, while another officer reported hearing between 8 and 12 gunshots. Another witness who was staying at the hotel said he heard two groups of multiple gunshots: the first volley, then a pause, and the second volley.

SLED investigators also spoke with another witness at the hotel, who said he stepped outside on the back side of the building to have a cigarette.

While he was standing there, the witness said he saw Blake and Goldstein run by. The witness said he heard Goldstein tell Blake to stop, and as Goldstein got closer, Blake turned around.

The witness said that was when he heard shots and saw muzzle flashes from the direction of both men. He said he heard eight to ten gunshots and then noticed both men were "stumbling around."

The witness said he dove on the ground, and then saw Blake staggering toward the patio area, where he was standing, so he quickly went inside.

A short time later, officers said Blake was found lying on the ground in the trees between the Comfort Suites fence and a sidewalk on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard. Blake had gunshot wounds to his right leg and left arm.

A Glock handgun was found on the ground next to the suspect, reports state. The Glock still had the magazine inside the weapon and the slide was locked to the rear, "which is consistent with the weapon being fired until the magazine was emptied," an officer noted in his report.

Those officers also said they found Goldstein crouched behind an unmarked police cruiser, 15-20 yards away from the suspect.

He was shot in his right leg, left arm, and his chest, despite wearing a ballistic vest. Goldstein was stable, alert, and talking with friends and co-workers at the hospital by 1 a.m. Sunday, according to police.

Charleston County court records show Blake is also facing drug charges, including heroin trafficking, from late February. He was later released from the Charleston County Detention Center after being issued a $55,000 bond on the charges on Feb. 23.

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