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In the pre-dawn darkness on Tuesday, the sound of gunshots brought a Charleston police officer into the heart of the city's East Side neighborhood.

The officer was driving at 5:18 a.m. on Morrison Drive when he heard about 10 shots, according to a Charleston Police Department incident report released late Tuesday afternoon. He notified dispatch and headed southbound onto America Street.

The shooting, which left one man dead, was the city's fourth for 2019, according to a Post and Courier database. It was also the first to occur in the East Side, a neighborhood which had faced significant issues with violent and other crime in the 1990s and early 2000s but has since seen its crime rate plummet.

The Charleston County Coroner's Office identified the victim as 29-year-old Bryan R. Cozart.

According to the incident report, the officer encountered another officer at Harris and America streets, parked his patrol car near Stuart Street and America and proceeded on foot with two other officers.

At some point, a call came over the radio stating that a concerned citizen reported hearing gunshots near Harris and Hanover, the report stated.

Officers found Cozart lying on the ground between two vehicles and a curb in a parking lot at 73 Harris St., the report said. Several apparent gunshot wounds were found on his body, and he did not appear to be breathing.

Cozart was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:39 a.m. by emergency medical services, the report stated.

Anyone who may have information concerning the shooting can reach a Charleston detective at 843-743-7200.

Cozart's death was the 29th homicide in the tri-county in 2019, according to a newspaper database.

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Reach Michael Majchrowicz at 843-937-5591. Follow him on Twitter @mjmajchrowicz.

Michael Majchrowicz is a reporter covering crime and public safety. He previously wrote about courts for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, Massachusetts. A Hoosier native, he graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.

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.

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