CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston Police Department is calling on the community to help them solve a fatal shooting that involved an innocent bystander last month.
The shooting happened the evening of January 17th at the Bridgeview Apartments.
Officers responded to the complex around 7:45 p.m. after gunshots were heard in the area. When they arrived, investigators located the crime scene in the parking lot where there were several spent casings.
While surveying the area, officers quickly realized there were two innocent victims who sustained gunshot wounds. “I want to emphasize innocent victims,” said Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds during a news conference on Friday. “People who had nothing to do with anything nefarious. They were minding their own business.”
One of the victims, Wayne Wade, was in his own bed watching an NFL playoff game with his wife, Beatrice, when a stray bullet entered their home and struck him in the neck.
Sgt. Paul Krasowski, who also spoke at Friday’s press conference, said Wade had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and was placed in hospice care prior to the shooting.
“He was given a set period of time, and his wife and his family had plans to spend the rest of their time with him and they were robbed of that time,” said Sgt. Krasowski.
Wade was immediately taken to the Medical University of South Carolina where he learned that he was going to be paralyzed from the shoulders down.
He died nearly two weeks later, on February 2nd, due to complications from that gunshot wound. It was the city’s first homicide of 2021.
Meanwhile, another victim was standing on her balcony when she was struck in the head by another stray round. That victim, Nikki Fuller, was treated at the hospital and later released.
“We’re talking a matter of centimeters and this could have been a double homicide case,” Sgt. Krasowski said.
Investigators are now calling on the community for any leads or tips regarding the shooting. They say law enforcement can only do so much, but tips from the public can help them advance the case.
“We need the community to step up and help us with this investigation. If you saw something, please call us. If you heard something, please call us. If you think you may know something, please call us,” said Sgt. Krasowski. “We know there are people in the community who can help.”
If anyone has information regarding the shooting, you are encouraged to call the Charleston Police Department at 843-743-7200 or Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry at 843-554-1111.