CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Authorities announced Friday an arrest in connection with the Memorial Day mass shooting that left 12 people injured in downtown Charleston.
Deljavon Lamat Simmons, 31, of Charleston, was arrested by Charleston Police officers, detectives, and US Marshals Task Force officers.
He is being charged with five counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Bond was denied during a Friday afternoon hearing.
“Frankly, it’s a miracle that no one was killed in this shooting. We cannot and will not tolerate these kinds of events anywhere in our city, and I commend our officers on the intensive, ongoing investigation that produced this arrest,” said Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds.
Simmons was once a quarterback with Burke High School and point guard for the school’s basketball team. He signed a letter of intent to play at The Citadel in 2010, but he did not meet academic requirements at the time.
Officers responded to the area of America and South Streets on May 30th for a loud noise complaint. But police said gunshots rang out just as the first officer arrived.
Nine people – three women aged 22, 21, and 33, five men aged 35, 27, 27, 35, and 28, and a 17-year-old girl were injured by gunfire.
“Glass shrapnel injured the officer, who was in his cruiser, as the car was pelted with bullets,” said Sgt. Elisabeth Wolfsen, a spokeswoman for the Charleston Police Department.
Security video obtained by News 2 showed dozens of people running for cover while the sound of repeated gunfire can be heard in the background. Several cars in the area were struck by gunfire, according to police, and the crime scene spanned several blocks.
Officers from surrounding agencies provided assistance, including deputies from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.
Two deputies were injured after being assaulted while they conducted crowd control. Two arrests were made in that assault.
“One person swung at a deputy, striking the deputy in the face. The deputy was later treated for facial injuries. Another deputy was knocked to the ground by a member of the crowd. The deputy suffered cuts to the head and arm,” said Andrew Knapp, a spokesman for the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.
Tahira McGee of North Charleston was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and battery and resisting arrest while Ayesha Saleemah McGee of North Charleston was charged with third-degree assault and battery in that deputy assault.
Police said eight shooting victims were treated and released from the hospital while one remains hospitalized in stable condition.
“Investigators have been diligently pursuing all leads stemming from the incident, and they continue to do so,” said Sgt. Wolfsen.