In the course of four months, two shootings have taken place on Hassell Street, a dead-end residential street off of East Montague Avenue in North Charleston that is also home to the Felix Pinckney Community Center. One of the shootings, which took place Tuesday morning at the end of the road, resulted in a fatality.
Alfred Williams, 31, has lived near the end of Hassell Street his entire life and says he doesn't know what to make of the shootings. "I think it's just random acts of violence with younger people," Williams says.
Williams says he was helping his uncle renovate a mobile home next door to his house around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning when he heard five or six gunshots and ran out to see what happened. "It sounded so close, it was like it was right inside the yard," he says. After checking to make sure his family members and neighbors were safe, he walked down the street to see what had happened.
At the end of Hassell Street, beside a neighbor's dirt driveway that travels along the woodline, Williams found a man lying on the ground facing a small tree. Williams says he didn't recognize the man at first, but as he got down on his knees to check on him, he realized the man was 33-year-old Chad Jerome Bradley, a family friend who used to live on Hassell Street but had moved away to Goose Creek years ago. He says they hadn't seen each other since about six months prior, when Bradley came back to the neighborhood for a baby shower.
Bradley was bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds; police would later determine that one bullet had wounded his neck, another had pierced his arm and chest, and a third had struck him in the pelvis area. Williams says he took off his T-shirt and used it to stanch the bleeding from a wound in his side before using his hand to apply pressure to the neck wound.
Williams said his uncle had already called 911, so he stayed with Bradley until police and EMS arrived. "He could move his mouth and talk, but it wasn't nothing really coming out. I guess from the wound to his neck, I guess he couldn't really get it out," Williams says. While some neighbors said they saw a gray SUV nearby before the shooting, Williams says nobody he knew had witnessed the actual shooting. One officer on the scene noted in an incident report, "I asked all parties around if they had any suspect information and they were unable to provide me with any." Bradley died after being transported to a hospital.
Bradley's shooting was the second shooting on the street in four months. The previous shooting took place outside the pool at the Felix Pinckney Community Center, which is at the corner of Hassell Street and East Montague Avenue. On June 24 at about 5 p.m., as previously reported by the Post and Courier's Andrew Knapp, police say 20-year-old Devonte Brown of East Montague Avenue and two other men stood near the exit of the public pool as their victim was leaving the pool and demanded that he pay them $5 before exiting.
When the victim refused and tried to walk away, two of the men reportedly lifted their shirts to reveal handguns stashed in their waistbands. When the victim said he wasn't afraid, one of the men reportedly fired a gun twice in the air. When the victim repeated that he wasn't scared, Brown reportedly fired two shots into the ground and then, when the victim didn't move, shot the victim in his left knee, breaking his femur. Police were later able to identify Brown via Facebook and arrested him after pulling him over in his car on a turn signal violation Oct. 14. Police searched Brown and found a loaded .40-caliber pistol in his pants pocket and $150 worth of crack cocaine in his right hand.
Between the swimming pool shooting and the death of Chad Bradley, Williams mildly says that it has been an "unusual" year on Hassell Street.
Williams says, "The majority of the people have been living here their whole life. I know my neighbor across the street; he's been staying there for almost 40 years. My Uncle Harry, my Aunt Thelma, I've got an Uncle Bernard that stays on the street — we all live on the same street. Everyone who stays on Hassell is basically family, man."
According to a North Charleston Police Department spokesman, Bradley's death remains under investigation.