Pasts of victims, suspects in North Charleston shooting riddled with guns, drugs
Drugs and guns were common themes in the lives of five people police said were involved in a daytime robbery Sunday in North Charleston that killed one of them and left another with a life-threatening injury.
The two people shot and two men arrested are felons with drugs and weapons convictions. They have nearly 50 arrests among them.
Witnesses told police that Anthony Watley III, 23, of Jason Street and DeAngelo Antwan Scott, 24, of Greenbay Drive were gunned down during a robbery attempt around 2:30 p.m. in the city's Russeldale community, the scene of a similar deadly crime in the spring.
Both men were taken to Medical University Hospital, where Watley was pronounced dead and Scott was in critical condition.
The homicide was the 10th reported this year to the North Charleston Police Department, which handled five killings in 2011. This year's statistic, however, is on par with the rates of the three previous years.
Two suspects were captured Monday, and agency spokesman Spencer Pryor said more arrests were expected. Jamal L. Smalls, 24, of Railroad Avenue and Thomas Lamont Ancrum, 23, of Van Buren Avenue each face charges of murder, armed robbery and attempted murder.
Magistrate Alvin Bligen set their total bail at $500,000 each on the armed robbery and attempted murder charges Monday.
A third suspect, identified only as XD, was also involved and was the one who shot both Watley and Scott, according to affidavits filed in bond court.
Police were called to 2253 Rebecca St. and found Scott, known as “Boobie,” resting on the ground near the apartment building and the mortally wounded Watley lying at the intersection, according to an incident report.
An officer tended to the wound in Scott's back. A hospital spokesman said Monday that no information on his condition was available.
After the shootings, a large group of people gathered, and witnesses yelled various descriptions of possible suspects. Some described only two assailants, including one dressed in a red shirt and another riding a bicycle.
“There were four guys all in black,” someone else yelled, according to the report. “They robbed Boobie.”
The Russeldale community's Delta Street was the scene of gunfire in late May, when an 18-year-old man was fatally shot and a 26-year-old was wounded. An arrest was made, and the police said the shooting might have been linked to one that damaged a car the night before.
The four people said to be involved in Sunday's incident all live within a half mile of Russeldale, which is just southwest of the Rivers Avenue interchange with Interstate 526.
Watley, who was a father, was arrested near the Russeldale Community Center in May, when an undercover police officer reported buying $40 worth of marijuana from him. In January, after his arrest for unlawfully carrying a gun, an affidavit stated that he destroyed the sprinkler head in his jail cell. The ensuing flood rendered the jail's sprinkler system inoperable for hours, court papers stated.
In April 2007, police initially suspected Watley of shooting a man on Rivers Avenue and stealing his Schwinn bicycle. But he was cleared of wrongdoing a month after his arrest.
Like Watley, Scott had more than 20 arrests on his criminal rap sheet.
He also was targeted in an undercover drug sting in 2007, when he sold crack cocaine to an officer, according to an affidavit.
The two suspects have shorter criminal histories, with at least 10 arrests each.
During a four-year span, Smalls, also known as “Slow Mo,” was arrested four times after selling crack to undercover police officers or informants, according to affidavits. He also swallowed six crack rocks after police stopped him for bicycling without a light in June 2009.
Ancrum, also known as “Slam Black,” has been arrested three times after traffic stops on charges that he was carrying a pistol. In another incident, an officer reported finding him sleeping in his Oldsmobile with a .380-caliber pistol in his lap and four marijuana cigars in the ashtray.
As he spent time in jail in September 2010, he was accused of hitting a female correctional officer with a chair, then punching her in the jaw. Court documents stated that he was upset that jail officials had changed the hours for inmate recreation time.
More than a dozen of Ancrum's family members showed up in bond court Monday to address the judge and apologize to the victims' families.
“I thought I had him on the right path,” a man who identified himself as his uncle said, while a woman cried loudly. “I'm sorry.”
Editor's note: An earlier web version of this story mistakenly identified the shooting victims of the 3rd suspect, XD as Smalls and Ancrum.
Dave Munday contributed to this report. Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.