After being shot several times in the back, Maliek Byers stumbled to the doorway of the apartment where his girlfriend and their four young children lived.
“He called my name,” said his girlfriend, Teairra Washington, after a Wednesday bail hearing for the man accused of killing Byers.
Washington, who said she heard the shots and is still “numb, really numb” after the June 14 killing of the father of her children, ages 4, 3, 2, and 1, called the slaying “cowardly.”
She rejected Charleston police conclusions that the killing was drug-related.
“Maliek was a loving father of the children and he took care of them. Now, there are four babies running around who do not have a father anymore,” Washington said.
Joshua Silas Robinson, 29, of Target Street in North Charleston, is charged with murder. The warrant served on Robinson states that Byers, 23, was shot four times in his back on Reid Street.
Byers ran to the doorway of Washington’s Hanover Street apartment, and called out to her before collapsing on the steps, according to police reports.
Paramedics pronounced Byers dead at the scene, police said.
Magistrate Linda Lombard on Wednesday told Robinson he will have to arrange a hearing in circuit court if he wants bail set on the murder charge.
Washington and friend Nichole Johnson said after court that Byers and Robinson had known each other since their youth but “did not hang out together.” Johnson also maintained that the killing was not drug-related.
“No, it wasn’t drug-related,” Johnson said. Washington suggested that the killing could have been related “to something years ago,” but was not sure what.
Police spokesman Charles Francis said investigators stand by their findings that the killing was drug-related. He said detectives had a meeting with Byers several weeks ago, at which he admitted he was a drug dealer. Francis also said that after Byers’ death, “several sources said he was killed because of drug transactions.”
Byers and Robinson had lengthy criminal records, authorities have said.
Byers, who did custodial work on Folly Road, was enjoying time off and was walking and listening to music when he was gunned down, Washington said.
Washington said she wants justice for the father of her children. Johnson said she expects the killer to face “the punishment that’s in place for murderers.”
The warrant states that witnesses told police that about three minutes before the murder, Robinson jumped a fence of a Reid Street home, walked to the front porch, unlocked the door and stood in the doorway. Robinson “looked as though he were preparing for something,” witnesses told police.
Robinson then ran up to Byers and fired at him multiple times, the warrant states.