CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston police announced an arrest in a shooting that took the lives of two teenagers in West Ashley.
Investigators arrested 17-year-old Zamere Raeguel Treawn Brown of Johns Island. He was charged as an adult with one count of murder for the death of 15-year-old Talekuz Williams
Brown has also been charged with one count of possession of a firearm during a violent crime. He's expected to have a bond hearing at 2 p.m. on Thursday.
The Sunday night shooting happened at the Ashley Oaks apartment complex on 78 Ashley Hall Plantation Road and took the lives of Williams and 17-year-old Juquel Young, both from Charleston.
CPD investigators say the investigation is ongoing into the death of Juquel Young.
At one time, both of the victims and suspect attended West Ashley High School, according to Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds.
The investigation began when an off-duty police officer responded at 8:45 p.m. on Sunday for a report of shots being fired near the basketball court.
Several officers and emergency personnel then arrived and found the victims who had died from gunshot wounds.
Reynolds said an investigation showed that the suspects, the victims and several other young men were hanging out near the basketball court when an altercation occurred.
"Shots were fired at both victims causing their deaths," Reynolds said.
According to police, what led up to the shooting was a verbal altercation which led to the drawing of a firearm. Although the exact details of the altercation were not entirely known, Reynolds said it wasn't worth the lives taken.
"[The altercation ] wasn't about anything worth losing your life over I can tell you that," he said."It was an altercation that was not of any significance that should not have ended this way, where three people's lives were impacted so tragically. "
Detectives developed information which led police with the assistance of the US Marshals' office to Brown's arrest that happened on Wednesday at 11:15 a.m. where he was arrested at his attorney's office.
"We are asking the assistance of any person with information about these events," Reynolds said.
Charleston police believes "numerous" people saw exactly what happened which can shed some light into the events.
If you have any information you are asked to call police at 843-743-7200 or Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111.
Reynolds said Brown had been arrested this past May.
According to police, at the time, Brown had been charged with unlawful carrying of a handgun as well as possession of a handgun under 18 years of age. The arrest stemmed from an incident where he was a passenger in a vehicle during a traffic stop.
"At the time of the murder, [Brown] was out on bond for that charge," Reynolds said.
A handgun recovered from the murder scene, a 9mm, was reported stolen on June 5 from the center console of a vehicle that was left unlocked at the Ashley Grove Apartments on Ashley Hall Road.
"The number of handguns stolen from motor vehicles in 2017 was 157," Reynolds said."So far this year it's been 71."
"Folks if you own a gun, properly secure it and lock it up," said Mayor John Tecklenburg who was also present at the press conference."Make sure it's in a safe place so it doesn't get in the wrong hands."
Tecklenburg said the most important thing to change in society is culture about violence and the use of weapons.
"When I was a kid, parents were admonished to know where your kids are," he said."We have to say today,'Parents know whether your kids have guns or not.' We need to change community norms. It's not cool to carry a gun and commit crimes."
Community activists and a mother who lost her son to gun violence also spoke at the presser.
Monica Jefferson lost her son to a shooting five years ago in West Ashley, and says she's been in contact with one of the parents who lost their child in this latest shooting.
"I don't know any other words to say but it has totally broken them," Jefferson said."Mom, dad, brothers, this is this woman's second child that she's lost to gun violence. So her devastation is unbelievable."
Monica Jefferson lost her son to a shooting on his 18th birthday, and detailed her own experience when she received the news about her son.
"It's such a sad situation where we have to wake up to phone calls of that magnitude," Jefferson said."Heaven only knows four years ago, I never thought that I would wake up to that phone call telling me that my son was murdered. That's a phone call a parent should never have to get."
Jefferson said shootings not only devastate family members but the community as well.
She implored mothers to reach out to their children and talk about the tragic consequences that come with shootings.
"Is this something that you would want your mother to go through?" Jefferson said.
Reynolds held Wednesday's press conference with not only members of law enforcement, but with Jefferson and community activists looking to stop the gun violence in Lowcountry communities.
"We gather here today to say that this is not an acceptable outcome. This is a tragedy," Reynolds said."These two young men whose lives were lost Sunday night...we can't forget. This needs to be a call to action. This is something that is a big deal. It's a big deal to these families. It's a big deal to those communities. It's a big deal to us as leaders in the community who have a responsibility for the safety of the people in these communities."