Four arrested in Camden "gang-related" shooting - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Four arrested in Camden "gang-related" shooting

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CAMDEN, SC (WIS) - A Camden teen is dead and four people are in jail after a gang-related shooting Friday night in Camden.

Camden Police Chief Joseph Floyd says 17-year-old Michael Joseph Smith died from a shotgun blast to the chest. Eighteen-year-old Markelle Jamar Reid of Camden is being charged with murder, and Camden resident Dexter Maurice Caldwell is being charged as an accessory.

Floyd says the shooting happened after a confrontation at a Kershaw County party Friday night. The confrontation moved to a McDonald's on Wall Street, where a fight broke out in the restaurant at around 11:40pm.

"I don't know how many guys jumped on my baby - and when they jumped on him they came back and they shot him! Michael was not armed. Michael was not out there trying to hurt nobody," says Smith's mother, Jody Hancock.

Reid is believed by investigators to have shot Smith in the chest outside the McDonald's, before he and Caldwell drove away.

Camden police arrested Reid at his house early Saturday morning. Caldwell turned himself in.

Floyd says the shooting was "definitely gang-related," and that investigators have been interviewing many people in connection with the shooting.

Chief Floyd does not know if Smith was in a gang. He thinks the Camden high-schooler had gang connections, but was trying to disassociate himself.

But Smith's father, Marcellus, says, "This was my son. I raised him right. He's not a gang member; he was a man. He was a man."

Michael's parents say their son worked two after-school jobs, was part of ROTC and wanted to go to college. His mother says, "He was a hard-working young man. We took everything to raise him the best we could."

The shooting has prompted response at Camden High School, where both the victim and one of the suspects were enrolled. Police were there all Monday, and some parents are worried. Parent Tina Simmons says, "You hear about the shooting at the mall. Anyone can come in and start shooting; you just don't know."

Principal Reggie Dean says, "We will do everything we can possibly do to ensure the safety of students. I have a child in the school."

Attendance was 50 students lower than usual, and 100 students signed out early.

Police expect more arrests, possibly Camden High students. But so far, there's no motive for what took the teenager's life.

Reported by Jennifer Wilson

Updated by Chantelle Janelle

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