A kick through the door, then gunshots early Saturday ended in the death of one teen and critically injured another in North Charleston.
Bullet holes remain in the walls of the fenced-in, red-brick home at 2012 Irving Ave. The blood that had been spilled there has since been washed away, said Ernest Gentile, the father of a woman who rents the home.
Gentile received a call from his daughter Saturday morning telling him of the gunfire. Like investigators, he said he is still piecing together what brought on the violence.
Several family members who survived the shooting were left “shaken and scared,” Gentile said.
“It’s terrifying. I still can’t believe that they came to my daughter’s house to shoot,” he said.
Police responded shortly after 3 a.m. and found two males with multiple gunshot wounds.
A 17-year-old friend of his granddaughter’s was shot in a stairwell that led to the home’s second floor, said Gentile.
The Charleston County Coroner’s Office identified the teen as Traquan Singleton of North Charleston. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The teens were planning a birthday celebration for Singleton when he was killed, Gentile said.
Gentile’s cousin, Omar Gentile, was shot four times and left for dead on the front porch, he said. Paramedics rushed him to Medical University Hospital where he was listed in critical condition.
The ordeal began with kick at the front door, Gentile’s daughter had explained to him, then a gunman stormed inside, firing shots along the way.
Gentile credited his cousin with saving several others, most of whom were sleeping when the gunfire erupted.
“(Omar Gentile) fought off the guys. He was fighting and struggling with the boy with the gun and he got shot,” Gentile said. “Thank God for him because more could have been shot. He’s in critical condition, but he’s still fighting for his life.”
Gentile said he suspected the gunman may have been after his granddaughter’s boyfriend, who was not wounded in the shooting and does not live at the home.
Police have questioned the boyfriend, Gentile said. But he has not been fully cooperative in Gentile’s eyes.
“He knows a lot, but he just doesn’t say anything. I don’t know if he’s afraid to say anything — All this commotion, it’s just hard,” Gentile said. “He could have gotten a lot of people hurt if the person was coming for him. He shouldn’t have even been here. You shouldn’t even be affiliated with people who you think are going to come and try to hurt you.”
Pryor could not confirm Gentile’s suspicions, and said only that the case remains under investigation.
A suspect has not been identified in the shooting and a motive is not yet known, Pryor said.
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.