NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Just before North Charleston community members were set to walk the streets to show they stand together and united against gun violence in the area in a display of unity, a fight broke out.
The ASAFO Community Development Association, Parents Against Gun Violence and 100 Black Men of Charleston called the meeting to address growing gun violence that included a shooting Thursday night that left one dead and three others injured.
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The meeting took place at the A-1 Food Store at 4016 Dorchester Road where the shooting took place.
Charleston County Dispatch has responded to 430 911 calls at the A-1 Food Store since 2021.
“Over 400 complaints. Black establishment have been shut down for less calls, for less; we’ve had clubs shut down in North Charleston for some situations happening in their parking lot but this still being open, this is ridiculous, " community advocate Elvin Speights says.
The group first discussed Thursday’s shooting, what needs to change in the area and what solutions can possibly create change.
“We know the store has had a lot of complaints and crime in the area, and the store owners have been failing to act and have been failing to get people off the property that they know are engaged in illegal activity,” ASAFO Community Development Association spokesman Jonathan Thrower says.
One mother who lost her son at the store back in 2021 shared why she thinks the business needs to be shut down.
“Because this is a cesspool for drug dealing, killing, shooting, this is where everybody meets up. This is where everybody comes to look for everybody,” she says.
No arrests have yet been made in the shooting and leaders are asking for the community to step in.
“We want the community to come together and turn in whoever is responsible for this,” Thrower says. “No way that we can allow somebody who’s been engaged in this type of criminal activity to continue to be on the streets.”
“I’m telling you right now, the summer is just getting started,” North Charleston City Councilman Jerome Heyward says. “Our job as leaders is to make sure we got the resources in these communities.”
When the meeting ended, members of the community were next set to walk around surrounding neighborhoods to show unity in their desire to stop the violence. But more violence canceled those plans abruptly when the fight broke out. At least six North Charleston Police units responded to break up the melee.
It was not immediately clear whether any charges would be filed in connection with the fight.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the North Charleston Police Tip Line at 843-607-2076 or Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry at 843-554-1111.
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