A search commenced Wednesday night for two gunmen after a 25-year-old man was shot dead inside his North Charleston-area home, but the reason behind the slaying remains a mystery.

The Charleston County Coroner’s Office identified the dead man as Dominique Ladson. He died at the scene from a gunshot wound.

According to Chief Inspector Chris Brokaw, deputies were called to Ladson’s home on Tedder Street shortly before 9:30 p.m. following reports of shots fired. The home, a single-story brick apartment with an adjoining unit, is off Ashley Phosphate Road near Northside Drive.

When deputies arrived at the home, they saw Ladson’s 29-year-old cousin standing in the kitchen talking on a phone. Ladson was lying on the floor, fatally struck by a bullet, according to an incident report.

Ladson’s cousin told deputies that two men with guns broke into the home and shot Ladson.

Two small children were in a bedroom at the home when the shooting occurred, deputies said.

Brokaw confirmed that authorities are searching for two suspects, but he declined to release a description of the men. He said it’s too early to tell if there’s any connection between Ladson and his killers.

A neighbor, Pearl Coakley said she’s lived in the area where Ladson was killed for about 10 years. Ladson moved into his home about a year ago, she said.

Coakley described Ladson as a quiet young man who mostly kept to himself, aside from the occasional flow of people in and out of his home on the weekends. She said she was saddened to hear of his death.

“He always looked out for me while he was here,” Coakley said, adding that Ladson took care to shoo away any loiterers who looked as though they didn’t belong near the woman’s home.

Deputies have not commented on a possible motive in the killing and no arrests have been made.

Ladson had a history of drug-related arrests extending to 2007, according to State Law Enforcement Division records. He pleaded guilty to a possession of ecstasy charge in 2008 and was sentenced to a six-month suspension and one year of probation, court records show.

He was arrested again in 2011, charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a pistol with an obliterated serial number, according to court records. Ladson pled guilty to those charges and was sentenced in May under the state’s Youthful Offender Act to no more than six years with two years of probation, court records show.

According to Brokaw, deputies didn’t know Thursday afternoon whether any items had been stolen from Ladson’s home.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.