N. Chas. police ask for help finding Renken’s watch taken during fatal liquor store shooting

Capt. Scott Deckard of the North Charleston Police Department briefs the media on the Matt Renken murder case. (Tyrone Walker/postandcourier.com)

North Charleston police are asking for the public’s help in finding a Rolex watch that was taken from Matthew Renken the night he was killed at Port City Liquors.

Capt. Scott Deckard said Renken was shot to death between 10 p.m. on April 22nd and 1 a.m. the following morning. Renken’s body was found under a table inside the Dorchester Road liquor store. Broken Grand Marnier bottles and an unhooked phone were nearby.

The killer or killers appear to have entered the store through an unlocked door some time after Renken arrived to count the store’s proceeds and prepare for the next business week, Deckard said. Investigators don’t know whether Renken knew his attacker, but they did find signs of a struggle in the store, Deckard said.

Investigators conducted a painstaking inventory to determine if anything was missing. None of the store’s proceeds were taken, but detectives did discover Renken was missing a gold Rolex watch he had been wearing before he arrived at the store, Deckard said.

Some other items may be missing as well, but they are not as distinguishable or easy to trace as the watch, Deckard said. He declined to identify the items.

Police say they have been working through a long list of potential suspects and have eliminated several people from that pool. The killer, however, remains at large and no clear motive has been found.

Surveillance video obtained from surrounding businesses indicated that a number of people passed through the area around the time of the killing, Deckard said. Police hope someone will come forward and provide more information about what happened.

The crime scene was complex, leading to initial questions over whether the shop owner’s death was a homicide or suicide.

A handgun lay at his side, and friends thought the detail suggested that he died at his own hands. They were relieved on May 4 when the coroner ruled the death a homicide.

Deckard would not say whether the gun that was found is the murder weapon or if police believe Renken was shot with his own gun.

Early on April 23, officers responded after Renken’s concerned stepfather went to the store because Renken hadn’t returned to his James Island home the night before. By the time Nick Wackym found the body, Renken had been dead for hours.

Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or Twitter.com/glennsmith5.