Shooting stemmed from argument between killer and victim's sister, Charleston police say

Brandon Horlback, 31, was arrested Saturday in the shooting death of Donnathian Grant, 40, outside Horlback's home on Nassau Street in downtown Charleston.

A 40-year-old man was fatally shot early Saturday in downtown Charleston during a domestic squabble between his sister and his killer, according to arrest affidavits.

Police officers found Donnathian Lemond Grant of Summerville lying on the front porch of 97 Nassau St., the documents stated. He was bleeding from a gunshot wound in his chest, and he died an hour later at a hospital.

Detectives indicated in the affidavits that Brandon Horlback, 31, who lived at the home, had acknowledged shooting Grant. Grant's sister is the mother of Horlback's child.

Both Horlback and Grant had lengthy criminal histories that include drug offenses. Horlback was convicted of distributing crack cocaine, a felony, in June 2011.

The ordeal Saturday started around 3:50 a.m. with a loud argument between Horlback and his child's mother, Alice Grant, according to the court documents.

Horlback's 61-year-old stepfather, who was staying in a bedroom in the home, told the Charleston Police Department that he got up and told the couple to quiet down, the affidavits stated.

About 10 to 15 seconds later, the stepfather heard two gunshots, he told detectives.

Alice Grant had been peering through the front door when she saw her brother get shot, she later told a detective.

"Why would you do that?" Alice Grant yelled, according to a witness who wasn't named in court documents. "That's my brother!"

After he heard the commotion, Horlback's stepfather ran to the open front door and saw Donnathian Grant lying face up on the porch stairs.

Horlback was standing over the bleeding man, his stepfather told the police. He then ran off the porch and down the street, according to the affidavits.

Police officers who responded to the call found Alice Grant crying as she ran back and forth near her brother.

The police later arrested Horlback, though they have not said where they found him.

During an interview with a detective, Horlback said that he had shot Donnathian Grant and that the victim's sister had said to him after the gunfire, "You kill my brother!"

The affidavits and a police incident report did not delve into further details of the slaying. They did not specify how Donnathian Grant got involved in the dispute.

It was the third homicide in the city this year and the second in as many days.

Before Saturday, Horlback was last arrested in early January, when Charleston police officers said he stashed a small amount of crack cocaine at a Hanover Street house where his stepfather was living at the time.

That case had not been resolved.

His drug arrests dated to 2001, when undercover police officers reported that he sold crack cocaine to them. But charges in that case were dropped.

His most serious conviction came after North Charleston police officers searched a home on Russelldale Avenue in June 2011. They found less than a half ounce of crack cocaine in the kitchen and under the house, arrest affidavits stated.

The officers also uncovered four handguns stashed under the home with some of the drugs. The firearms ranged in caliber from .22 to .380.

Horlback was arrested on drug-trafficking charges, but he later pleaded guilty to distributing crack cocaine, a less serious felony, and misdemeanor cocaine and marijuana possession. His firearms charges were dropped.

For the drug convictions, he was ordered to serve five years on probation, but state records showed Monday that he was no longer serving that term.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or