Family, police: Men, women were talking after Charleston concert when bullets flew
When Don’ta Pringle left his Summerville home Saturday, he had a lot to look forward to.
It was the only night of the week when he could unwind and not worry about his landscaping job the next day. The 22-year-old planned to attend a concert in downtown Charleston — his first time hanging out on the peninsula. The next afternoon, he planned to spend time with his 1-year-old daughter, who meant the world to him.
Like always, he told his mother goodbye and said, “I love you.”
But he never did return. He never did get to see his daughter the next day.
After the concert, as he talked with some young women outside a Meeting Street gas station, an SUV drove up. Someone started shooting.
Three people were hit, but Pringle was the most gravely wounded. One bullet pierced his lung, another his heart. Another lodged in his lower back.
When friends rushed Pringle to the hospital, they encountered the SUV again, and bullets again whizzed toward them.
“When they finally made it to the hospital, as soon as they laid him on the gurney, he took his last breath,” his mother, Heather Pringle, said Monday. “It’s not fair, and it’s not right.”
As a magistrate denied bail Monday for the two West Ashley residents accused of killing Pringle, details emerged about the hectic early morning scene outside the Exxon at 420 Meeting St.
Two felons face a murder charge: Brian Ancrum, 23, of Tripe Street, and Glendell Gladden Jr., 29, of Robinhood Drive.
Charleston police have not discussed whether anyone would face charges in the wounding of the two others. Spokesman Charles Francis said only that an investigation is ongoing.
Ancrum has a felony conviction for cocaine possession, and Gladden has a history of violence and drugs. Sunday’s killing was the third homicide he has been linked to since 2002.
In each of those past murder cases, prosecutors dropped the charges against Gladden.
In 2002 police said he told detectives that he didn’t know the man accused of fatally shooting someone at a West Ashley Waffle House. He was shot in the leg during the incident, and video from the restaurant indicated that he was lying, affidavits stated.
Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said Monday that she was researching exactly why the case against him was later abandoned.
During the next eight years Gladden was convicted of several drug crimes, including possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute it near a school.
In 2008 he was arrested but never convicted on charges that he punched, kicked, bit and ripped hair from the head of a female roommate, and, in a separate incident, that he shot a man in the face during a robbery.
Two years later, sheriff’s deputies said Gladden fatally shot Robert Rocky Williams after the two argued about a pistol.
Wilson, the solicitor, said deputies found a 9 mm handgun at Williams’ side, and Gladden argued that he shot Williams in self-defense. A witness initially told authorities that Gladden wasn’t defending himself, then changed his story and said he hadn’t seen anything, Wilson said.
“We had no credible or corroborated witness to disprove self-defense,” Wilson said Monday. “We could not move forward with the case.”
In Pringle’s slaying, police said a crowd of people saw what happened about 2 a.m.
His mother said he had been listening to a band that evening, but she couldn’t recall where the concert took place. Afterward, Pringle and four friends gathered at the Exxon.
They were speaking with a “number of females” when Ancrum drove up in an SUV, affidavits stated. Gladden got out of the SUV and walked through the parking lot, witnesses told officers.
Police said the SUV turned onto Woolfe Street, which runs next to the Exxon. Witnesses heard gunshots three minutes later, but the affidavits don’t specify where they came from.
William Miles Hassell, 23, of Loganberry Circle in Goose Creek, was shot in the right knee, according to a police report. Friends took him to a West Ashley hospital.
A young woman also was wounded, but she was not identified. Friends took her to a North Charleston hospital.
When Pringle’s friends were taking him to Medical University Hospital, someone in the SUV fired at their car at Woolfe and Nassau streets. One round went through the car’s trunk and lodged into a back seat, but no other bullet holes were found.
Pringle’s mother described her son as a handsome “ladies’ man,” but she said a dispute over a woman shouldn’t be a reason for anyone to want him dead.
He has two past arrests on assault charges, but he was never convicted. On Facebook, he mentioned spending two years in juvenile detention, but he didn’t discuss it further.
He talked about getting hurt during fights, about getting struck with a pool stick. But he denounced violence, guns and gangs.
Much of his Facebook page was dedicated to his daughter.
“Ja’niah,” he wrote, “you the best thing that ever happen to me.”
“He loved her with all his heart,” Heather Pringle said. “He just didn’t get enough time with her.”
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.