Relatives of a motorist who was slain last month on Johns Island and family members of the man accused of shooting him shed tears together and embraced each other outside a courtroom early Thursday.
“I’m angry, but I’m not angry at you,” said Loretta Hemingway, the stepmother of the 20-year-old shooting victim. “I can’t be mad with you. … We can’t be mad anymore.”
Kadeem Chambers, a resident of Longs in Horry County, was fatally shot May 16 as he sat behind the wheel of a Mercedes on Cynthia Avenue. His half-brother, 17-year-old Jujuain Hemingway, was forced out of the vehicle and beaten, but Hemingway managed to run to safety.
The third person arrested in the incident, 20-year-old Denzel Marquise Heyward of Harvey Avenue in North Charleston, was denied bail during a hearing Thursday morning.
Heyward and Livaughn Simmons, 19, of Delano Street in Charleston both face charges of murder, attempted murder, armed robbery and possession of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime.
Quansantrina Jaeureka Rivers, a 22-year-old mother from West Surrey Street in North Charleston, is accused of driving a getaway car.
Heyward’s attorney, Alex Apostolou of Charleston, said the facts of the case have been improperly presented to the public, but he wouldn’t discuss the case itself.
Apostolou, whose client turned himself in this week, said the case “was a sad situation all around.” He comforted Heyward’s relatives as they cried with the victim’s family.
“That buoys the human spirit to see family of a child who has lost his life embrace family of the person accused of taking his life,” Apostolou said. “It’s a humbling thing to see.”
The victims had arranged a meeting with the suspects around 11:30 p.m., according to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. It’s not known what the rendezvous was about.
Neighbors reported hearing an argument, then gunfire.
Deputies found Chambers’ Mercedes crashed into a parked car. Chambers was bleeding in the driver’s seat. Before he died at a hospital, Chambers told deputies that a man named “Fat” had shot him, according to arrest affidavits.
Hemingway was pulled from the sedan and kicked in the head, according to the documents. The attackers riffled through the car’s trunk.
As Hemingway lay on the ground, one of his assailants fired a bullet that struck the pavement next to his head, according to the affidavits. Hemingway later was found hiding near a portable toilet at a nearby construction site.
Authorities found a small bag of marijuana near the scene but couldn’t tie it to any of the people involved. They have not said whether the robbery and shooting were drug-related.
Loretta Hemingway said she raised Chambers as her own son. She said the shooting has left her son, Jujuain Hemingway, devastated. “They were innocent,” Hemingway said of the two young men. “(The attackers) could have let them go. Now my poor child is traumatized. He’s at home and feels his whole life is over.
“Somebody needs to say they’re sorry.”
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.