North Charleston police identify suspect in Saturday shooting (copy)

Derrick Lamar Porter. File/Provided

A North Charleston man was sentenced to 35 years in state prison for a shooting two years ago that left a man seriously injured.

Derrick Porter, a 30-year-old resident of Pine Ridge Circle, was found guilty of one count each of attempted murder and possessing a firearm during a violent crime, according to a statement by the 9th Circuit Solicitor's Office.

A jury reached its verdict Thursday afternoon after a two-day trial. 

Porter was given the maximum sentence of 30 years on the attempted murder charge and a consecutive five-year sentence on the weapon charge, the statement said. He received about two years of credit for time served in custody, said Heather Speizman, a solicitor's spokeswoman. 

The victim, 31-year-old Hollywood resident Fitzgerald Byas, was shot in the head around 3:40 p.m. April 16, 2016, according to an incident report released after the shooting. He was found sitting in the driver's seat of a car in a parking lot at 2000 McMillan Ave. and was taken to Medical University Hospital for treatment.

An officer who helped lift Byas out of the car saw a loaded 9 mm handgun fall out of his pants pocket, according to the report. The officer also saw cash on the seat and noticed the car smelled like marijuana.

Using surveillance video from nearby businesses, investigators traced the shooting to what seemed like a chance encounter at the entrance of a convenience store, the solicitor's statement said.

But Porter waited for Byas to exit the business and once Byas exited, the two got into a heated conversation, the statement said. Byas tried to leave but Porter followed him to the car and eventually shot him in the forehead.

"Following the shooting, Porter casually walked away and left in his vehicle," the statement said.

Porter claimed self-defense during the trial, saying he opened fire because he saw Byas reaching for a gun, the statement said. Although the victim was armed, testimony and video surveillance evidence contradicted Porter's self-defense claim.

Solicitor Scarlett Wilson credited "vigilant business owners" and their use of video and recording equipment in solving the case.

"This case may not have been solved and a callous killer may have walked free without it and the cooperation of the business owners," Wilson said.

Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.