Suspect in home invasion arrested

Marcus Antoni Simmons

A Charleston woman woke up in her bedroom early Monday to find three masked men inside her apartment demanding money she didn't have.

The 29-year-old told police she was able to escape out the front door of her apartment on Wappoo Road after they led her downstairs at gunpoint.

Charleston police have arrested one man in the case so far. Marcus Antoni Simmons, 25, of Charleston, is charged with first-degree burglary, attempted armed robbery, kidnapping and conspiracy to violate the state narcotics law.

Officers responded to the apartment at 5:30 a.m. The woman said she was asleep in an upstairs bedroom when a masked man holding a rifle turned on the light and told her to get out of bed and give him money, according to an incident report.

The woman insisted she didn't have any money. The man forced her downstairs while a second suspect remained upstairs. Once downstairs, the woman walked backward with her hands up and bumped into a glass coffee table in the living room. She told police she thought the noise startled the armed suspect, who then walked to the back door of the apartment where she saw a third masked suspect, the report states.

The woman told police that's when she ran out the front door and called 911. Once she was out of the apartment she heard a gunshot on the second floor, the report states.

She was unable to give a description of the suspects, except that the man with the gun was a light-skinned black male and the other two had darker skin.

The report states that the men broke into the apartment by breaking out the glass at the top of the apartment's back door.

The incident is under investigation, according to Charles Francis, public information officer for the police department.

Reach Andy Paras at 937-5589, aparas@postandcourier.com or on twitter at twitter.com/andyparas.