Black community rallies at site where man was shot to death Sunday

Nietta Wright holds up a photo of her son, Dominique Ladson, who was shot to death when two masked men burst into his house Nov. 20. She spoke Monday at a rally against gun violence in North Charleston. Buy this photo

Grieving mothers and concerned citizens gathered on Monday at the site where another black man was shot to death in North Charleston Sunday night.

The Charleston County Coroner’s office identified the victim as 31-year-old Cedric James. He was fatally shot about 7 p.m. Monday behind TJ Barbershop at 4591 Dorchester Road.

Another man was also wounded and taken to a hospital with an arm injury, according to North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor.

Several men were seen running from the area after the shootings about 7 p.m., although no suspects had been identified Monday, North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor said.

Elder James Johnson, a police chaplain, was called to the scene after the shooting. He said he saw a young black man lying dead by a dumpster behind TJ’s Barber Shop.

Johnson is also vice president of the newly formed Tri-County Chapter of the National Action Network, which was founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton. Johnson organized the rally by the dumpster where James died.

“We have to stop these killings,” he said. “We plan on doing something about this black-on-black crime.”

Johnson said he and other members of the network will ask Gov. Nikki Haley to assign the State Law Enforcement Division to track the illegal guns coming into high-crime black neighborhoods.

“If these guns were in any other community, SLED would have already done something about it,” he said. “It seems nobody cares about the black community.”

Parents, schools and churches also have to work harder, Johnson said.

“We have to educate these young men that drugs are wrong and guns are wrong,” he said.

Two mothers who lost sons to gun violence urged more efforts to get young people to quit shooting each other.

“All these guns getting into teens’ hands these days just don’t make sense,” Nietta Wright said. “I’m pleading out to all young men.”

Wright’s son, Dominique Ladson, 25, was shot to death when two masked men burst into his house on Tedder Street near North Charleston about 9:30 p.m. Nov. 20. No suspects have been identified.

Cannie Zellars spoke on behalf of her son. Da’Shawn Zellars, 21, was shot to death July 20 on Ferrara Drive in North Charleston. Derrick McKinley, 25, of Johns Island was charged with murder.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.

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