Fatal shooting in North Charleston ruled self-defense

Donell Benjamin (left) and Paul Williams

A fatal shooting Saturday night in North Charleston has been ruled self-defense and no charges will be filed, according to police.

Paul Darnell Williams, 36, of Verde Street fatally shot Donell Benjamin, 34, after an argument at a party. Here’s what happened, according to police spokesman Spencer Pryor:

Williams left the party in Ladson and was dropped off at 1729 Pearson St. because he was afraid to go home after the argument. Benjamin showed up at the Pearson Street address and shot at Williams. Williams pulled a gun, returned fire and fled on foot. Both firearms were recovered.

“Following consultation with the solicitor’s office, it has been determined that this was a case of self-defense and no charges will be filed against Williams (who) was not prohibited in carrying a firearm and legally purchased the weapon,” Pryor said in an email.

Williams was out of jail on $125,000 bail after being charged in 2014 with attempted murder, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and first-degree assault and battery. He was accused of stabbing a 16-year-old in the back during a brawl among several families and slashing a co-worker with a box cutter in a separate incident.

Benjamin pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in 2008 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. After his release, he pleaded guilty to possession of heroin last year and served 22 days in jail.

Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.