Neighbors had complained of Goose Creek-area house where 27-year-old was slain
GOOSE CREEK — When Arthur Lodge woke up Saturday morning, he wasn’t surprised to see his street lined with sheriff’s cruisers.
For the past decade, Lodge has reported his suspicions of prostitution and drug dealing at a neighboring house on Jean Wells Drive near Goose Creek.
He has called police about half-naked women and cars using his yard as a spillover parking lot. He has seen paramedics carting off drug-overdose victims. He has felt bass from party music shake his walls.
The commotion Saturday was the result of a 27-year-old man being fatally shot inside the rental house at 130 Jean Wells Drive. The dead man, D’Andrae George White of Ashley Phosphate Road in North Charleston, has a history of drug arrests.
“It seems we see police out here only when something goes bad,” Lodge, 71, said. “It’s sad, but I really think it could have been prevented.”
The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office released little information and could not confirm Lodge’s accounts. Coroner Bill Salisbury said an autopsy was planned Saturday, but the results were not available.
Deputies were summoned around 3 a.m. White was taken to Medical University Hospital, where he died about an hour later.
Sheriff’s spokesman Dan Moon said a gathering had been taking place. Several people were present, Moon said, so investigators were trying to sort out who shot White multiple times.
“We know who was there,” Moon said. “We’re just following up on leads about who pulled the trigger.”
It was the second homicide this month for the community just southeast of U.S. Highway 52 and Hollywood Drive.
Darrell R. Allen, 23, was fatally shot Dec. 13 before wrecking his rental car on Lindy Creek Drive, within several hundred yards of the most recent death scene. City police officers found a white powder outside his car.
On Saturday, crime tape stretched across the front lawn of the Jean Wells Drive house. It was attached to a black Jeep, whose door was ajar, revealing fuzzy pink dice dangling from a mirror and a leopard-print steering-wheel cover.
Affixed to the home’s front awning, two statuettes depicted praying cherubs.
In another Goose Creek neighborhood, loved ones gathered at the home of Monica White, the slain man’s mother. The killing had disrupted what should have been a time of holiday merrymaking.
Monica White described her son as a Charleston native with a brother and a sister.
“He was funny, but quiet, and he loved his family,” she said. “I’m truly going to miss him.”
Court records indicate that legal trouble had dogged D’Andrae White since 2003, when he pleaded guilty to marijuana possession.
He has convictions for failing to stop for blue lights in 2006 and 2008; cocaine possession in 2005, 2008 and 2011; and unlawfully carrying a pistol in 2005.
He was on probation when he was arrested Dec. 13 on a charge of fleeing from the police in his mother’s car, according to his ticket.
“We’re not saying he was perfect,” White’s cousin, Kyna Zealberg, said during the gathering of relatives, “but nobody deserves this.”
Lodge, the neighbor, agreed. He had heard two loud bangs after 2 a.m., then the sound of a truck speeding off. But he was unsure whether the clamoring was connected with the homicide.
Sounds in the night are not unusual, he said. The man who has lived on Jean Wells Drive since 1968 cited unrest a week ago, when someone fired five bullets into a neighbor’s front lawn.
Lodge also has twice rushed across the street to help extinguish fires at the house where White was killed. “If it catches fire again,” he said, “I probably won’t put it out.”
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.