NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – North Charleston Police Chief Greg Gomes is urging state lawmakers to address what he called loopholes in the legal system nearly 24 hours after a shooting between two vehicles in the Park Circle area.
Officers with the North Charleston Police Department (NCPD) initially responded to Rugheimer Avenue around 6:30 p.m. in reference to shots being heard in the area. Two vehicles were allegedly shooting at each other while driving through nearby neighborhoods at high speeds. A bicyclist was struck by one of the vehicles, causing minor injuries to the victim.
Kareem Davin-Mikell, 27, was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property and possession of a pistol by a felon. Mikell told police he was grazed by a bullet while at Bar on the Avenue off Spruill Avenue, according to an incident report.
The incident has raised numerous concerns among residents and businesses in the area and sparked a reaction from the department’s chief.
“Two young men, arrested 16 times between the two of them for a total of 25 charges, were part of a chain of events that resulted in a reckless exchange of gunfire while speeding through our residential streets, endangering the safety of our citizens,” said Chief Gomes.
Chief Gomes said one of the two individuals was out on bond for a murder charge while the other was on probation.
“It is deeply concerning that individuals with such alarming criminal records persist in posing a threat to the peace and security of our neighborhoods,” he added.
Gomes said police “acted swiftly” in apprehending one of the men and have identified the other.
“Our department will once again place these individuals in jail; we are but just one piece of the criminal justice system. We need accountability throughout the judicial process,” he said.
Gomes said there is no provision for reckless endangerment in South Carolina, which he said has left the judicial system without the proper tools needed to hold individuals responsible for endangering the lives of innocent citizens accountable.
“We urge the South Carolina Legislature to take immediate action to address these glaring loopholes in our legal system. The safety of our citizens should never be compromised by the shortcomings of our laws,” he said.
For now, Gomes said North Charleston PD is taking steps to engage with the business where the incident is believed to have transpired and will work collaboratively on addressing the issue and preventing future incidents like this.
“In fairness to the business, the individuals involved in this incident were promptly removed from the establishment and the incident escalated thereafter,” he said. “The most important thing that I want the community to know is that we are committed to addressing crime in every neighborhood in the city. The safety and well-being of our citizens will always be our top priority. We will continue to advocate for stronger laws and accountability throughout the judicial process.”