The case of a businessman who was found dead of a gunshot wound in his North Charleston liquor store has been ruled a homicide, Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten confirmed this afternoon.
Renken, owner of Port City Liquors, was found by his stepfather in the store at 4400 Dorchester Road on April 23, the morning after he apparently was shot. A handgun, broken liquor bottles and an unhooked phone also were found at the disheveled scene.
Wooten said the process of ruling on Renken’s manner of death took especially long because of test results that investigators had been awaiting.
Officials from the North Charleston Police Department have not said whether detectives think a crime had been taking place before Renken was slain in an office area of the store. The stepfather who found his body said the back door had been left unlocked and that there appeared to have been a break-in.
Neighboring business owners said Renken was at the store the night of April 22 to make a bank deposit. “Detectives continue to investigate the death of Matthew Renken,” police spokesman Spencer Pryor said. “At this time, there is no lead on a suspect.”
The 39-year-old James Island man was a lifelong resident of the Charleston area and attended St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church. He was a graduate of Bishop England High School on Daniel Island and Wingate University in North Carolina.
He once owned the Gateway House Inn in downtown Charleston.
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.