CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Some people who live on Charleston’s Eastside are shaken up after gunshots were fired at a downtown gas station early Friday morning. Local legislators are searching for ways to curb violent crime in the City of Charleston and across the Lowcountry.
Some residents in the Eastside Neighborhood woke up to the sounds of gunfire at an ExxonMobile gas station on the corner of Meeting and Woolfe Streets. Even though no one was hurt in the incident, neighbors say it’s a scary reality that needs to be addressed.
Multiple guns shots fired overnight at a Downtown Charleston gas station can be heard on the Ring Camera video. Seconds later someone can be heard screaming and cars seen driving away from the scene. Seconds later a gas pump was smashed by a car.
Blue Bagwell has owned the house next to the gas station for 16 years and has lived there for the last fours years. Bagwell was asleep at his house when the gunfire woke him up.
“Seven gunshots exactly, it scared me,” says Bagwell. “It’s the first time I’ve actually been scared I think because it was so close.”
Bagwell took video of the scene minutes afterwards from the side window at his house.
“The police had it taped off and they were searching for evidence or whatever and the pump was obviously smashed like a car had run into it,” says Bagwell.
A report was filed with the Charleston Police Department but no arrests have been made and no suspects have been named. Bagwell says neighborhood safety has improved in recent years but says the corner gas station has long been a problem spot for drugs and crime.
“It’s nuisance stuff and every once in a while something like this will happen,” says Bagwell.
Even with the improvement, Bagwell is hopeful more can be done. State Representative Wendell Gilliard says it’s a main goal for local legislators.
“When you look at the shootings, the robberies, the murders, I mean it’s just off the chain,” says Representative Gilliard. “And we have to step up to the plate, we cannot be silent anymore.”
A close call on the Eastside, Bagwell believes Law Enforcement presence is the best way to keep the neighborhood safe.
“It just scared me, I know the difference between fireworks and guns and it just woke me up,” says Bagwell. “Just keep patrolling the streets.”
State Representative Gilliard is holding a community conversation next Wednesday at the North Charleston City Hall for law enforcement leaders from across the Lowcountry including Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano and Police Chiefs Luther Reynolds and Reggie Burgess among others.