Mom says video does not prove her son had gun when shot by police
A mother who watched video of her son being shot didn't see the 17-year-old point a gun at the police officer who shot him.
Dominique Chisolm of North Charleston, the mother of Carlton Lamont Pringle, watched video of the Sunday shooting and afterward said she doubts police accounts of the confrontation. Police said Pringle pointed a handgun at Pfc. Anthony Dipaolo in the Ferndale subdivision when the officer approached him.
“I don't really see him pulling out no gun or nothing,” Chisolm, 36, said Thursday from her son's hospital bedside. Chisolm also said she believes the officer kept firing after her son was on the ground.
The video recorded by a nearby commercial site's security camera appears to capture a short foot chase and the shooting. Dipaolo was placed on administrative leave after the shooting, which is being investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division.
Pringle was taken to Medical University Hospital in serious condition. Chisolm said her son was hit by eight bullets, and “has 12 to 16 holes in his body. They just shot him up all over his body.”
Chisolm said her son is not able to talk yet, and that she is the only family member allowed to stay beside him. She said she wishes authorities would allow other relatives to share the duty.
Chisolm watched the shooting video for the first time Thursday with North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and other city officials. Before making the video available to the media, officials showed it privately to Chisolm and a group that included local ministers working with the city to curb violence.
Summey said that because of an ongoing investigation, neither he nor police will comment on what the video depicts. “Make your own decision about what it shows,” he said.
Chisolm said she still has doubts that her son had a gun, and said the video appears to show the officer firing at her son while he was on the ground.
“It looks like he was shot while he was rolling around,” she said.
She said the video was shown several times, in real time and in slow motion, but still she could not see a gun in her son's hands. Something drops to the ground, she said, but it could have been her son's cellphone, she said.
Police said they recovered a 9 mm Hi-Point handgun at the scene. Officers were dispatched that day to Emden and Dalton streets after reports of gunfire. Police had been advised that at least one of the shooters had dreadlocks.
Police said Pringle has dreadlocks, but relatives called them braids. Pringle and another man turned and headed in a different direction when they saw a police car, police said. Diapolo got out of his car to speak with them, and called to them, but they kept walking away, police said.
On foot, Diapolo approached them, and as one of them fled, Diapolo pursued Pringle, and in the area of Gaynor Avenue and Hock Street, Pringle allegedly turned and pointed a handgun at the officer. The officer pulled out his service gun and fired several shots, police said.
Chisolm said her son was doing nothing wrong in the video. “He was not guilty for running away,” she said.
While releasing the video, Summey pleaded for the public's help in keeping guns away from youths. He said the video illustrates the problem of gun violence plaguing communities all over the nation.
“There are too many guns on the street. There are too many guns falling into the hands of young people. We've got to go after the people bringing guns into our community,” Summey said.
He said weapons are streaming into communities in the Lowcountry and nationwide, not just North Charleston. “We are not the only area facing this rash of gun crimes,” he said.
Asked about sources of guns, he said many firearms are sold cheaply out of the car trunks, and the various law enforcement agencies need to work together to stop this.
Summey said that in North Charleston, crime statistics show gun possession and use are most prevalent among black youths. He cited arrests made in some recent robberies and assaults in North Charleston in which, he said, the suspects are mainly black youths.
He said 17 of 20 people arrested in the city this year for weapons violations were black males, and the city's two homicides this year resulted in three arrests, all black males.
Youths need adult guidance to break away from their dependencies on guns, Summey said.
“Children have got to know you don't resolve things with guns. You resolve them by talking them out,” he said. “Check your children out, be involved with them. It's a scary world out there.”
As part of the effort to curb gun use, Police Chief Jon Zumalt announced the city's fourth annual gun buyback will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Two sites will collect and reward for guns, no questions asked: Mount Moriah Baptist Church, at 7396 Rivers Ave., and St. Matthew Baptist Church, at 2005 Reynolds Ave. A $100 gift card will be traded for handguns and a $50 gift card awarded for long guns and shotguns, he said.
Residents must be at least 18 years old and must follow state concealed-weapons laws when transporting weapons to a buyback site. No identification will be required to participate.