Gunfire alerted residents of Awendaw's Goodwine Circle that something was wrong Monday night.
For a map of all tri-county homicides since 2001, go to postandcourier.com/homicides.
Two people then dialed 911, but no one said exactly what led to the shooting that left 33-year-old Earl Lamar Campbell dead in the middle of the dirt road.
"I don't know what happened," one woman told a dispatcher as she cried. "My cousin is laying here. ... This is very serious."
Deputies from the Charleston County Sheriff's Office first arrested a suspect in the slaying, 19-year-old Manning Isiah Milligan, for failing to pay a fine for an old traffic ticket, records showed. Sheriff's officials said he also now faces charges of murder and possessing a firearm during a violent crime.
Both men live within 3 miles of each other on nearby Seewee Road in the quiet, rural community north of Mount Pleasant. They both have criminal histories for misdemeanor drug possession.
But a sheriff's statement and documents released Tuesday gave no indication about what might have led to the violence around 10:30 p.m. on Labor Day.
Milligan was expected to have a bond hearing at 10 a.m. Wednesday, when the release of arrest affidavits could shed light on an alleged motive.
It was the eighth homicide reported this year in the sheriff's jurisdiction. The agency handled the same number of slayings in all of 2013.
Sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson said that when deputies arrived at the scene Monday night, Campbell was already dead.
He had suffered several gunshot wounds, but Charleston County Deputy Coroner Dottie Lindsay wouldn't say how many times he had been hit.
During a 12-minute 911 call, which was obtained Tuesday through a S.C. Freedom of Information Act request, the woman who first summoned the authorities cried over Campbell's body and pleaded with the motionless man to breathe and with paramedics to show up.
"You've got to get up," she said. "You've got to get up."
Inside a nearby home, the woman's uncle also called for help. He told a 911 dispatcher that he saw a body lying in the road near a gray Dodge Ram pickup.
But he also didn't say how the crime had unfolded.
"A guy has been shot in the road here," the man said in the call. "That's all I heard was the shots. I was in the house."
Campbell had been wounded in an episode of violence before.
Mount Pleasant police said in May 2011 that he and his cousin got into a skirmish at the Dog & Duck restaurant in the town's Park West community. One of them pulled out a knife, and Campbell's right arm got stabbed during a fight for the weapon, the police said.
Both men were arrested, but the assault charge had since been wiped from Campbell's rap sheet on file with the State Law Enforcement Division.
He was convicted of drug charges four times since 2000 for possessing marijuana, cocaine and crack cocaine.
Milligan's past showed convictions last year for marijuana possession, criminal domestic violence, drunken driving and leaving a crash scene. Charges of possessing marijuana and Ecstasy filed earlier this year remain pending.
Andy Paras contributed to this report. Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.