Wife found dead at home; husband died at hospital

A couple lived quietly among their neighbors in Northwood Estates for more than 30 years until Wednesday, when police responded to their home for a double shooting.

Officers were dispatched to 2912 Bienville Road at 2 p.m. to what they said they originally thought was an attempted murder-suicide. North Charleston police did not confirm Wednesday night whether the preliminary investigation supported that scenario.

Nancy "Theresa" Davis, 58, died at the home, Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said. She said EMS took Leslie "Ted" Davis Jr., 63, to Trident Medical Center, where he also died. The couple died from gunshot wounds, Wooten said. Autopsies are scheduled for today.

The family pet, whom neighbors described as a Chihuahua named Joker, also died of a gunshot, the coroner said.

Ted Davis told The Post and Courier in 2004 that he was a retired auto dealer. Theresa Davis had been a waitress at the former K&W Cafeteria on Rivers Avenue, said neighbor Debbi Farrell.

Farrell said Theresa Davis told her about a year ago that she had cancer but that doctors had removed the disease. She seemed to be doing well until recent weeks, Farrell said. "She was having health problems," Farrell said. "She was telling me she wasn't feeling well."

Farrell said a male friend of Theresa Davis' son, Larry Gordon, had moved in with the Davises five or six weeks ago and was doing odd jobs around the house.

"Theresa told me that he was a friend of her son's and that he wouldn't be there long," Farrell said. "She said he was having hard times."

Coastal Crisis chaplains comforted family members who showed up at the house. Gordon wept as he hugged people across crime-scene tape.

Emergency vehicles crowded the short residential street off Greenridge Road, drawing nearby residents to gawk on the chilly afternoon.

Marlene Tatul returned home from running errands.

"There were police cars everywhere," she said. "They (the Davises) were just as nice as they could be. I'm in shock. I just can't believe it."

Laura Bryant grew up across the street and attended Stall High School with Gordon. She said the Davises had lived in the brick house since at least 1975.

Farrell's husband, Steve Farrell, had befriended Ted Davis, who recently invited him to take a trip.

"He said he wanted to go to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and he was trying to convince us to go together," Steve Farrell said.

Reach Noah Haglund at 937-5550 or nhaglund@postandcourier.com. Reach Nadine Parks at 937-5573 or nparks@postandcourier.com.