One of two teenage boys suspected in a shooting this week outside the Northwoods Mall had been arrested early this year after North Charleston officers reported finding drugs, guns and signs of gang activity in a house where he was.
Timothy Xavier McClendon, 16, of Big Ben Court and a 15-year-old boy face charges of attempted murder, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during a violent crime in the Monday shooting.
McClendon, who was last jailed in January on a cocaine trafficking count, is charged as an adult, North Charleston Police Department spokesman Spencer Pryor said Wednesday.
The younger suspect remained in the custody of the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice. He has not been charged as an adult, so the authorities have not named him.
They were arrested Tuesday, a day after the police said they were involved in the shooting that seriously wounded Davin Jerome Aiken, 20, in the mall's parking lot.
The case against McClendon, like other 16-year-old defendants charged with a violent crime, was automatically forwarded to General Sessions Court, 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said.
But prosecutors and the police were still gathering information before deciding whether to ask a judge to send the charges against the 15-year-old to that court, Wilson explained.
Authorities must document the juvenile's criminal history in determining whether to pursue adult charges, Wilson said. Prosecutors also must consider the likelihood that the charges could be proved in a courtroom, the extent of aggression apparent in the alleged crime and the chances that the child could be rehabilitated.
Once that information is gathered, prosecutors could give it to a Family Court judge, who would rule on sending the case to the adult-level court. Wilson expected to decide whether to make that move within the next week to 10 days.
The shooting around noon Monday prompted a police search during a five-hour closure of the nearly 1-million-square-foot mall, but no suspects were found inside.
The wounded man, Aiken, still faces attempted murder charges in the gunfire that was unleashed last year on a hotel room near the mall.
McClendon also has one other arrest that resulted in seven drugs and weapons charges for him and six of his friends.
That came three days after his 16th birthday in mid-January, when officers responded to a narcotics complaint about a house on Madden Drive, according to an incident report. Inside, the police said they came across nearly a half-ounce of cocaine and more than 5 ounces of marijuana.
The officers reported finding .40-caliber Glock and Kel-Tec pistols. A Gucci shopping bag stashed above a shower also contained a camouflage mask, plastic bags and two digital scales, the report said.
The charges against McClendon, another teenager and five adult men included possession with intent to distribute marijuana and trafficking cocaine, a violent offense.
Police officers also seized from the house a photograph showing "criminal gang activity," they said in the report.
The bust happened in Dorchester Terrace, the same community where Ty'Quan President, 16, was fatally shot in April during a clash between two groups of youngsters and where a boy, 13, shot a 14-year-old in December during a dispute over rival gangs, the "Young Goons" and the "Young Gunnas."
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.
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