CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston Police Department (CPD) on Friday announced that the owners of a property where 10 people were shot during a Memorial Day party have been called to court.
Annette and Paula Dickerson own a home on South Street where the party allegedly began before spilling over into a nearby vacant lot.
A court summons for Public Nuisance was issued by the City of Charleston Department of Livability and Tourism and CPD. Officials said that the property owners are being held accountable for creating an environment that led to the shootings, but not being charged in the shootings.
If found guilty, they could face up to 30 days in jail and/or over $1,000 in fines.
Curbing Charleston’s gun violence is an issue CPD Chief Luther Reynolds is passionate about. From Monday night’s mass shooting sending 10 people to the hospital, to crying mothers who’ve lost children to gun violence, Chief Reynolds said it’s time to put a stop to the violence.
“Can we do better in terms of responsibilities? Absolutely,” said Chief Reynolds. “Can we do better in terms of reducing the gun violence, reducing the deaths? Absolutely.”
Chief Reynolds said the block party should’ve been shut down before turning violent.
“People are entitled to have a party at their house,” said Reynolds. “They’re not entitled to bring guns, to have gang members show up, to shoot at each other, to deal drugs.”
Chief Reynolds is in California this week meeting with law enforcement leaders from around the country. He said mass shootings like those in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas are shedding light on the issue, making it critical to look at options to reduce gun violence. He believes a hate crime law should be a priority.
“I believe it’s critical,” said Chief Reynolds. “Number two, I do believe that red flag laws work. I think they are very effective, I don’t think they infringe on people’s second amendment rights.
CPD said that since the incident, additional measures have been put in place to strengthen public safety and code enforcement in the area. Officers anticipate others involved before, during, and after will be held accountable as well.
“The citizens of Charleston deserve our very best and our criminal investigation will continue until an arrest, or arrests, are made,” CPD said.
Anyone with information on the incident or video from the incident is asked to contact CPD at (843) 743-7200.