JOHNS ISLAND — Two brothers from Horry County were lost Wednesday night when strangers attacked them as they drove through a Johns Island neighborhood, according to police reports and witness accounts.
One of them was fatally shot as he sat at the steering wheel of his Mercedes about 11:35 p.m. Charleston County Deputy Coroner Scott Ramsey identified the victim as 20-year-old Kadeem Chambers.
The other, a 17-year-old Jujuain Hemingway from Longs, was severely beaten but managed to run away as his two assailants chased him in another car, witnesses said.
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office has no suspects in the attack that has jolted neighbors in Stafford Heights, where children played in yards and couples jogged along tree-lined streets on Thursday.
Emaculada Brockman, 20, was lying in bed when she heard a gunshot outside her house on Cynthia Avenue. A few minutes later, two more rang out.
“A man came running by and jumped over the fence in our backyard,” she said. “A car was coming this way after him. He was running for his life.”
Not knowing what had occurred, Brockman would later walk barefooted down the street, amid pools of blood, a lone dollar bill and a cigarette lighter.
Hemingway suffered cuts to his lips and forehead. He was treated and released Thursday from Medical University Hospital, according to sheriff’s Capt. Eric Watson.
It was not known where the brothers were heading when they got lost, he said.
“He fled and left his brother. He was not able to identify who beat him,” Watson said. “We have intentions to re-interview the teen, to get more details about what happened.”
After dialing 911, Hemingway couldn’t describe exactly where he was, only that he was at a construction site near the shooting scene. Deputies would later find him hiding in a portable toilet outside the shell of a new house.
“Hurry up,” Hemingway softly told the dispatcher between heavy breaths and cries. “Me and my brother’s dying, man.
“A dude ... started beating on us.”
Deputies battled heavy rain and wind, which toppled a tree onto a nearby house, as they investigated the homicide early Thursday.
They spoke with residents who started calling 911 when they heard shouting and a single gunshot. One caller described hearing two more shots as he spoke with a dispatcher.
“They were screaming at each other,” one said. “They were cussing and hitting each other.”
Brockman, one of the 911 callers, said Hemingway was being chased by a small, dark sedan. He jumped one chain-link fence, got tangled in a suspended dog leash in her yard, then leaped over another fence.
“Somebody said, ‘Get in the car. Hurry. Hurry,’ ” she said. “My stepdad was outside sitting in a lawn chair and smoking a cigarette. He could have been caught in the crossfire.”
Responding deputies found Chambers, the driver of the black Mercedes, slumped over the steering wheel. He would later die at a hospital. Ramsey said the cause of death is still under investigation.
After Chambers was shot, the Mercedes crashed into a Chevrolet pickup truck parked on the roadside. The truck wasn’t involved with the crime and was not badly damaged, according to its owner, who declined to be named.
Steve Hewett, who has lived on Cynthia Avenue for 30 years, was outside working on a trailer hooked to his pickup when he heard the gunfire. His three grandchildren inside his house never woke from their sleep.
“Everybody’s sort of friendly here,” the 64-year-old said. “Strangers usually smile and wave at each other.”
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede