Wounded man seeks help at pool

Charleston police investigator Hector Reyna (left) and Sgt. John Clayton responded to a shooting Wednesday behind Joe Griffith Miracle Field at Forest Park in West Ashley.

Wade Spees

Practice was interrupted at a West Ashley swimming facility Wednesday night when a young man who had been shot ran inside asking for help.

Members of the Southern Marlins Racing Team, a youth swim group, were practicing at about 6 p.m. at the W.L. Stephens Aquatic Center at Forest Park when the bleeding man showed up.

Charleston Recreation Department staff members rushed him into a restroom and ushered the youths into another restroom for protection, Charleston Recreation Director Laurie Yarbrough said. She said they called for help and provided first aid.

"The staff handled it magnificently," Yarbrough said.

The wounded man had been shot on the other side of the park, behind Joe Griffith Miracle Field, and was taken to Medical University Hospital, said Charles Francis, police public information officer. Police had no suspect late Wednesday.

The shooting victim is 19 and was in serious condition, Charleston County EMS Director Don Lundy said.

Team practice, swimming lessons and lap swimming were canceled for the remainder of the night.

Wednesday's shooting was the second incident in less than a year involving agun-related crime that the Marlins team was exposed to.

In October, practice for some of the younger members of the Marlins swim team was temporarily moved to the Stephens pool on West Oak Forest Drive after a violent crime at the Martin Luther King Jr. Pool in downtown Charleston.

A teenage girl was robbed at gunpoint before an early-morning swimming practice outside the King pool on Lee Street on the city's East Side.

Worried parents met with police and recreation officials after the robbery and complained of drug activity and other crime in the area. Police conducted special patrols at the East Side pool, and parents kept an eye on the older youths who continued to practice there.