LADSON - Minutes after Bailee Eidem and her boyfriend sat down for dinner Monday night, they heard gunshots outside their Temple Road home.
For a map of homicides since 2001 in the tri-county area, go to postand courier.com/ homicides.
Someone pounded on their door seconds later and yelled for help. Eidem looked out to the sight of a 15-year-old boy bleeding in her driveway.
To offer tips
Anyone with tips about Alonza Williams' killing can call the Sheriff's Office at 843-719-4412 or Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111.
She knew he was Alonza Williams.
Eidem had met the teenager after moving to the community a month earlier. He often hung out in her front yard as a place to "stay out of trouble," she said.
"We figured our yard would be a safe place for him and his friends," Eidem, 20, said. "I think he knew that, and that's why he came running over when he got shot."
Someone had called out to Williams and confronted him around 9:49 p.m. Monday. He was shot several times on the street near Eidem's home, and he died more than an hour later at a hospital.
Deputies did not immediately arrest anyone, and Maj. Rick Ollic of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office appealed to the public for further information about the slaying.
"We're following some leads right now," Ollic said Tuesday. "We're not at a point where we want to release names of any suspects."
The death was the fourth homicide reported this year in the sheriff's jurisdiction. The previous deadly shooting, which came June 7 during a block party on Tish Lane near Moncks Corner, also remains unsolved.
Williams had lived in Goose Creek, but he recently started staying with friends in the College Park community where he was shot.
He looked young, friends said, but he stood 6 feet tall and was a tough competitor on the football field and on the basketball court. He had attended Cane Bay High School, they added, but planned to go to Stratford High in the coming year.
Early Tuesday, as a crime-scene investigator took advantage of the daylight and combed the area for evidence, 22-year-old Payton McDonald of Miami Street stood across from Eidem's yard, where his friend had fallen. Blood still covered the pavement and a white Honda Accord was parked in the driveway.
McDonald often allowed Williams to stay at his place, where the teen could get some food and a hot shower. Williams sometimes butted heads with people he saw on the street, McDonald said, but the boy laughed off such encounters.
The teen was outgoing and skilled at dancing and rap singing, McDonald added. "He would laugh with anyone," McDonald said as he stood on a shady curb along Temple Road. "We'd be just sitting here joking. He liked to have fun."
McDonald struggled to talk about what happened Monday night, but other residents said they had noticed trouble brewing in their community.
Eidem had watched a Ford Crown Victoria, which resembled an old police cruiser, race down Temple Road earlier in the evening.
She and other residents suspected that the sedan's occupants later parked elsewhere in the neighborhood and walked toward the intersection of Temple Road and Lander Street.
Williams was talking with friends at 615 Temple Road when someone called to him from a darkened part of the street near a blown street lamp, the neighbors said.
That's when the residents heard a half-dozen gunshots.
Eidem dialed 911 as her boyfriend, 24-year-old Daniel Williamson, went outside.
He saw a gun lying in the street, but he didn't know whose it was, he said. By then, the assailants were gone, Williamson said.
He turned his attention to Williams, who was surrounded by some friends. Others had run away.
The teen had been shot in the neck. At least three other bullets had struck him elsewhere, Williamson said. "Help me, dog," Williamson recalled the teen saying. "Help me. Don't leave me here."
Paramedics took Williams by helicopter to Medical University Hospital, but he died there at 11:11 p.m., Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury said.
An autopsy was planned for Tuesday afternoon, but its results were not immediately known.
That morning, sheriff's cruisers slowly patrolled Temple Road.
An investigator gave Williamson some plastic gloves that he used to clean off the car in his yard. A crew of firefighters later arrived to spray what blood remained on his driveway.
For Williamson, it was a disturbing reminder of what happened the night before. "He might not have been the greatest kid in the world, but he was still just a kid," Williamson said of the boy. "And no kid deserves this."
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.