HANAHAN — A resident mowed his lawn, a toddler frolicked in a yard and man pushed a stroller Friday near the same intersection where a 15-year-old boy was slain hours earlier.

The shooting death of Goose Creek resident Payton Robert Velarde happened in a typically tranquil part of Hanahan, a city that hasn't seen a homicide in nearly two years.

Many details surrounding the slaying remained a mystery, police said.

"It's very strange for the area," Deputy Chief Michael Fowler of the Hanahan Police Department said. "But anyplace in Hanahan is kind of shocking."

One crucial detail, the victim's name, was revealed Friday afternoon, hours after the slaying near Belvedere and Sedgefield drives.

Velarde had been carrying no identification, making that difficult, the authorities said.

Two residents dialed 911 about 1:17 a.m. and reported gunfire in the community south of Hanahan High School.

"Three gunshots just went off," one woman said in a call. "That was gunshots, and the guys were just over here at my house."

Police officers found Velarde lying in the middle of Belvedere Drive. They did CPR but paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene a short time later, Fowler said.

Hanahan homicide scene

Hanahan police described the scene of a fatal shooting Friday, April 27, 2018, on Belvedere Drive as a normally quiet area where violence is infrequent. Andrew Knapp/Staff

Police Chief Dennis Turner said later in the day that detectives were following clues. They had sent information to a local sheriff's unit and the State Law Enforcement Division in hopes of developing more leads, he said.

Though not problematic, the community sees occasional break-ins and disturbances, Turner said.

There was no immediate indication about what might have prompted the shooting but Turner said it was not thought to have been random.

"This is an isolated incident," he added. "The community as a whole is not at risk."

The police and Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury fielded tips from community members, helping them identify Velarde through physical descriptions, including a tattoo of three roses on his right arm.

The killing was Hanahan's first homicide since 2016, when two people were strangled in separate domestic violence episodes.

It was the 16th slaying so far in 2018 in the tri-county area, The Post and Courier's homicide database showed.

"We are being very thorough about this to bring this matter to a resolution," Turner said.

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Reach Andrew Knapp at 843-937-5414. Follow him on Twitter @offlede.

Andrew Knapp is editor of the Quick Response Team, which covers crime, courts and breaking news. He previously worked as a reporter and copy editor at Florida Today, Newsday and Bangor (Maine) Daily News. He enjoys golf, weather and fatherhood.

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