Man killed in N. Chas. shooting

Officers peer into an apartment at the scene of a fatal shooting Thursday afternoon on Delta Street in North Charleston.

James Gibbs was sitting at his kitchen table Thursday afternoon when he heard four gunshots in his Russelldale neighborhood.

Gibbs, 56, is accustomed to gunfire in the community he has lived in for a year. But this time, it was close. Too close.

He peered through a window and saw no one. But when he walked outside, a man with a bullet wound in his shoulder was staggering across the street, where he stopped on a home’s front porch.

Another man was lying on the ground next to a decrepit apartment building near Gibbs’ house, bleeding from large hole in his chest.

After Gibbs called 911, a police officer arrived and tried to revive the man, but he was already dead.

Later, as Gibbs sat on his porch and chatted with friends, he shook his head at what he called the “shameful” death of a man he knew as a respectful “young boy” who would say “yes sir” and yes ma’am.”

“They’re fighting each other, robbing each other, stealing from each other. It’s nothing new,” Gibbs said. “I don’t like it, but I’m used to it now.”

Detectives still were trying to determine what led to the fatal shooting in the 5000 block of Delta Street, and who was involved. Spencer Pryor, spokesman for the North Charleston Police Department, said no arrests had been made.

The identities of the victims were not released.

Hours after the shooting, children on bicycles chased their parents in the street. A pedestrian drinking from a can of Red Bull shouted at residents, “Is everyone OK?”

Patrol officers made frequent traffic stops near the community’s entrances at Rebecca Street and Rivers Avenue.

Undercover officers and detectives came and went from an apartment unit on Delta Street, where an American flag served as a door. They questioned a man who said he was walking to the store when he saw someone running from the gunfire.

Residents hesitated to speak about the shooting in the area where they said drug deals occur in plain view and in daylight.

As she fed her toddler on her front porch, one woman who declined to be identified said her boyfriend was the man who was wounded. But she said they had just moved into the neighborhood and that her boyfriend was “just an innocent bystander.”

Gibbs and others who gathered on his porch said an incident the night before left a car on a nearby street riddled with bullet holes. It wasn’t known whether anyone was hurt.

“I’m moving. I’m getting out of this,” Gibbs said. “They retaliate for something, then it happens again. It’s a never-ending story, and I don’t want my life to end over nothing.”

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Andrew Knapp is editor of the quick response team, which covers crime, courts and breaking news. He previously worked as a reporter and copy editor at Florida Today, Newsday and Bangor (Maine) Daily News. He enjoys golf, weather and fatherhood.