NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The North Charleston Police Department is calling for the community’s help in identifying three persons of interest in the February 14th shooting at Northwoods Mall.
Officers responded to the mall after shots rang out near the food court that Sunday afternoon. Three innocent bystanders were sent to the hospital with injuries.
The suspect remains on the run.
During a press conference on Monday, North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess said that based on security footage, investigators observed something they say indicated three individuals may have information about the Valentine’s Day shooting.
He said investigators want to speak with the individuals to see what they know about the crime. These three are in addition to the shooter.
“When people need help, they call 911,” said Chief Burgess. “Now, the department is begging and pleading with the community to help us solve this case.”
During Monday’s press conference inside the mall, Chief Burgess addressed members of the community who he felt may fear retaliation or may be scared to speak up.
“I understand how it is in the community,” said Chief Burgess while speaking directly to the public. “I know that folks are telling y’all don’t snitch, don’t tell – well, I’m asking y’all, as your home boy who was born and raised here, with our police department who works for y’all, to reach out and help us. Let’s make what’s wrong right. Let’s make it right.”
Chief Burgess said community members can submit an email anonymously at firstname.lastname@example.org or via text to the department’s tip line at 843-607-2076.
This incident is just one part of a bigger picture showing violent crimes in the North Charleston community.
In 2016, a total of 774 violent crimes occurred in the city. Fast forward five years, that number jumped to 1164 violent crimes in 2020 with nearly two-thirds of those, being aggravated assaults.
“Every time something happens in this city, even if its just an accident, we’re responsible,” said Chief Burgess.
In January 2021, there were 34 incidents involving a firearm in North Charleston and four people were shot.
The Northwoods Mall shooting was just one of several high profile crimes in the month of February in North Charleston.
One person was shot at a BP gas station and investigators are currently looking into a shooting that happened at the Tanger Outlets on February 27th.
“Believe me, folks, people are getting fed up with this mess. People are getting fed up with this mess. They’re tired of it. They’re tired of people making excuses,” said the chief.
Now the department is focusing on reducing violence in North Charleston to work towards a safer community. They’re using a holistic approach.
“The city of Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Charleston County, we’re constantly sharing information with each other on crime trends,” said Chief Burgess. “So, the holistic approach is getting everybody involved. As I said earlier more management, community members, law enforcement, and even government.”