Victim's daughter tormented by questions

Leland M. Shannon Jr.

LINCOLNVILLE -- When Joy Holmes needed help on her homework Monday night, she didn't know it would be the last time her father would drop everything for her.

Leland M. Shannon Jr., 40, was having a drink with friends when he stopped to help his 20-year-old daughter with her college psychology assignment. She's studying social work and wants to open a shelter for the homeless someday.

They later exchanged "I love yous," and Holmes started to get ready for bed.

But just after midnight, three men broke into their West Carolina Avenue mobile home. One of the burglars shot Shannon once in the leg and twice in the chest with a shotgun. One then pointed a shotgun at Holmes' head, while another held an AK-47 to her chest.

One of the three said, "Come on, hurry up," and they left without hurting her, she told sheriff's deputies.

Her father died within seven hours.

The crime, which investigators viewed as calculated and focused, left Holmes and his six other children fatherless. It didn't make sense to Holmes. Why would someone want to kill a man who would do anything to help members of the Lincolnville community where he has lived since birth?

"If you needed anything he had, he'd give it to you. If he had food and you didn't, he'd feed you," Holmes said. "He couldn't do everything for all seven of us, but he did as much as he could."

Capt. Eric Watson of the Charleston County Sheriff's Office said nothing was stolen and the home invasion was a targeted attack. The area is known for drug activity, he said.

Shannon, son of Lincolnville Town Council member Leland Shannon Sr., had started to shed his involvement with drugs, for which he spent time in prison in 2003, his daughter said. He worked sporadically in the construction industry and his success made other men fill with "hatred, greed and jealousy," Holmes said.

1 charged, 2 sought

James Reginald Rose, 34, of Old Ridge Road in North Charleston was arrested Tuesday evening.

He faces charges of murder, attempted murder, first-degree burglary and use of a firearm during commission of a violent crime. Two others, who were disguised with masks and black clothing, are still wanted.

That Rose has been a friend of Shannon's for decades further perplexed his family.

Andrea Shannon, 36, of Summerville was married to Shannon for 17 years but they were separated when he died. Rose had been a friend of her husband's through their marriage.

"They were mad at each other sometimes, but it never got out of hand like this," she said. "Everyone has flaws, but he doesn't deserve this."

Five family members attended Rose's bond hearing Wednesday night before Judge Alvin E. Bligen.

With Rose listening via a video hookup, Shannon's father told the judge his family was devastated.

"It's unjust; it was execution-style," he said. "It's unhuman to do something to a person like that."

Rose then let loose a fusillade of comments about drugs, girlfriends and lies.

"I just want to say I didn't do nothing," Rose told the judge."They making me seem like some kind of animal. I've never done anything like that. I've never killed anyone before. ... Anyone could have done that to him."

Bligen denied bail on murder and burglary charges. Rose also was charged with a firearms violation, two unrelated charges in connection with threats to a mental health counselor in May, and a fraudulent check charge. Bail was set at $166,662 for those charges.

Losing her father

Earlier Wednesday, standing on the back deck of the mobile home where Shannon was shot a day earlier, Holmes tried to understand why someone wanted to kill her father.

She drank coffee and surveyed the yard he would have been raking. She picked up the grilling tongs he would have used to cook her food.

Then she recalled the violence that started on the same deck a day earlier, and she cried.

Her father and two of his friends heard a knock at the door around 12:30 a.m. and let the man inside. It was Rose.

They carried on a short conversation, then Rose walked back outside and toward a gray sedan. That's when investigators said two masked men got out of the car and pointed their weapons.

Holmes said one of them held Shannon's girlfriend at gunpoint on the porch. Two others went inside.

Holmes, who was in another room resting, heard three bangs. Her father was shot as he sat at the kitchen table.

The shooter also fired two shotgun blasts toward the girlfriend as they left. She wasn't hit and ran to a nearby house. The neighbor called for help.

As Shannon was placed on a stretcher and wheeled to an ambulance, Holmes cried that she couldn't "patch him up," his body riddled with shotgun wounds.

"He told me not to cry, and he just smiled and said, 'I love you,' " Holmes said. "He was helping me right until he died."

Tony Bartelme contributed to this report. Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or on Twitter at @offlede.