27-year-old killed, man holding child wounded outside Charleston apartment complex

A man was shot to death and another wounded at this complex at Reid and East Bay streets Saturday morning.

A man holding a 3-year-old child was hit by gunfire that killed a 27-year-old man outside a Charleston apartment complex Saturday morning.

The men were shot around 11:40 a.m. on Reid Street near East Bay Street, police spokesman Charles Francis said.

Both men were taken to Medical University Hospital. The man holding the child was treated and released. The other man died.

The Charleston County Coroner’s Office identified the man who died as George Bennett, 27. An address was not released.

Police have not said anything about the possible target of the shooting.

Residents of the East Side complex said the shots came from a black Cadillac. Police did not immediately confirm that or give more details.

Children were walking the streets and sidewalks near the scene a few hours after the shooting, many holding phones and iPads in colorful cases. A group of mothers stood talking near where the men were shot.

“These people just don’t care,” one of them said.

Like other residents, she declined to give her name. When asked if the shootings made them nervous, most just shrugged their shoulders, pointing out it’s not the first time somebody has been shot in the area.

Elder James Johnson of the National Action Network, who has been vocal since Walter Scott was shot by a police officer in North Charleston earlier this month, showed up to talk with reporters about this shooting. He has said he always been concerned about black-on-black crime and was responding to numerous messages he got after Saturday’s shooting.

“Look at all the kids in the streets,” he said.

He went on to say the root of the problem has to be addressed. The men were shot just blocks from where hundreds of new offices, apartments and condominiums are being built.

“Why is it happening here in a city that earns $1 billion a year in tourism, and we’ve got these shootings right behind that tourism?” he asked. “The economic boom is not trickling down into these communities. As long as it is only on one side, we will never get rid of these shootings.”

This was third homicide so far this year in Charleston, Francis said.

A mother whose son was shot to death in West Ashley also made a statement. Monica Jefferson, also with the National Action Network, lost 18-year-old Malcolm Jefferson on Forbes Avenue in October 2013. The killing remains unsolved.

“We need to get these kids together and make them understand they need to quit killing each other,” she said.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.