CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said 10 people were wounded in a mass shooting in downtown Charleston late Monday night.
The injuries consist of nine adults and a 17-year-old girl, according to the Charleston Police Department. Tecklenburg said four of the victims remain in the hospital in critical condition.
According to Police Chief Luther Reynolds, the incident began when an officer responded to a noise complaint about a loud party at a vacant lot in the 40 block of South Street.
“Immediately the officer took gunfire,” Reynolds said. “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.
Charleston Police Sgt. Elisabeth Wolfsen said “multiple people” were also struck by gunfire in the area of America and South Streets around 11:40 p.m. Monday.
“The crime scene spanned many blocks, many blocks. So we’ve been out all night,” Reynolds said.
Footage from a nearby doorbell camera captured people running for shelter as gunfire erupted.
The video shows one person leaping over a picket fence for safety as others nearby hide behind parked vehicles.
“It’s May 31. That’s day number 151. And that means there’s just over one-and-a-half mass shootings per day in America,” Tecklenburg said. “Every 16 hours in our country, there’s a mass shooting. Think about that, y’all: Every 16 hours in America, there’s a mass shooting. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m angry about it. I’m mad about it. I’m fed up. And I concur with many of our citizens here and across this country that enough is enough.”
Tecklenburg said there have been 230 mass shootings in America so far this year.
3 facing charges, no arrests so far in actual shooting
Reynolds told reporters one person was arrested early Tuesday morning on a charge of disorderly conduct. The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office confirmed earlier that two women were arrested in connection with fights that broke out after the shooting that resulted in the assault of two deputies.
Tahira McGee of North Charleston is charged with second-degree assault and battery and resisting arrest; and Ayesha Saleemah McGee of North Charleston is charged with third-degree assault and battery, Charleston County Sheriff’s spokesman Andrew Knapp said.
Booking photos for the two women were not yet available on the Charleston County jail website Monday morning.
An incident report states deputies responded at approximately 11:43 p.m. to assist the Charleston Police Department after receiving word a Charleston Police officer had been wounded.
Several fights broke out and two deputies were assaulted during the incident, the report states. One deputy was struck in the face and was treated for facial injuries, while another was knocked to the ground by a member of the crowd and suffered cuts to the head and arm, Knapp said.
The report states Ayesha McGee cursed and verbally berated deputies who were attempting to secure the scene, then attempted to “body slam” the deputy to the ground. Deputies say she was restrained by other officers almost immediately, but the deputy suffered cuts to his head, hand and elbow.
Another report states Tahira McGee struck a deputy across the face and was then wrestled to the ground and placed in handcuffs. The report states McGee struck her head on the ground during the takedown and had swelling above her right eye and small lacerations. She was medically cleared by staff at an area hospital. The report states the deputy suffered a scratched cornea and facial cuts from the strike.
A responding Charleston Police officer suffered minor injuries but was in the process of being treated and released from the hospital, Wolfsen said.
Authorities say South Street from Nassau Street to Drake Street and America Street from Reid Street to Mary Street will remain closed as investigators process the scene.
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