To offer tips

Police said tips about the killings may be provided by calling 554-5700 or texting 274637.

New Year's Day shootings that killed two women and wounded a third are believed to be related but not thought to be the work of gangs, North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers said Friday.

Police have identified suspects in their investigation of the crimes but have not yet made arrests as they continue to collect evidence, he said at a press conference.

Driggers said he would not speculate on a motive for the shootings.

"We are going to bring people to justice," he said.

The victims were shot within two miles of each other. Authorities identified the slain women as Debra Randall Martin, 49, of Ventura Drive, and Janet Royal, 52, of Niagara Street. Martin was shot and killed at 7 p.m. Royal was shot at around 5 a.m. and died later in a hospital. Sabrina Green, 41, of Aintree Avenue, was shot at 5 a.m. and hospitalized, police said.

Driggers appealed to the community to work with investigators to solve the crimes.

"It is a partnership," he said. "It's going to take mothers and grandmothers turning in sons."

Police have met with local leaders and increased their presence as part of an ongoing effort to gain community support. Outside agencies, including the State Law Enforcement Division, are assisting in the investigation, he said.

"We will make an arrest in these cases," he said.

All three women were inside their houses and shot from the outside. Knocks at the door were heard at two of the homes before the gunfire rang out, police said.

Driggers said his department will do everything possible to protect from retaliation those who cooperate with police in their investigation.

"We want the community to stand with us," he said.

Royal had three adult children and worked as a custodian at the Charleston City Market. She was generous and made others laugh, her relatives said at a recent candlelight vigil for the victims.

Relatives wept at the vigil as leaders called for calm and urged people to be careful answering their doors. They asked those with knowledge of the crimes to come forward.