CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston teenager was shot and killed Wednesday night as he sat on a porch with friends on Charleston’s West Side.
Charleston police detectives said Tymel McKinney, 18, was shot in the face at a residence on Sixth Street. Police charged Mark Anthony Gaddy, 23, of Detroit, and a Charleston juvenile with murder. Gaddy was arraigned Thursday morning. Police didn’t release any information about the underaged boy who was charged.
The 11:30 p.m. Wednesday shooting followed a shooting earlier today on Glenwood Ave. also on the city’s West Side. Two men originally from Detroit have been charged in that shooting. Gaddy was also questioned but not charged.
“I don’t know if it’s a direct retaliation or not,” Charleston Police Chief of Detectives Lt. Steve Cooper said. “But I do know this is the second day in a row where criminals from Detroit are shooting openly in neighborhoods.”
While Cooper wouldn’t say if this shooting was drug-related, he cited a Detroit connection to Charleston’s drug trade.
“It’s an organized system. They don’t just come down, hop off a bus and start looking for a place,” Cooper said. “They have a system in place. It’s how they make their money. They set up in places like Charleston, Huntington and Lexington.”
McKinney dropped out of Capital High School several months ago but his family said Thursday he was working toward his GED. They said he loved his family and 4-month-old daughter.
Cooper said Cpl. James Wilson was patrolling in the area and heard the shots, about 20 in all. He saw the men fleeing the area. Police used a K-9 unit to track down Gaddy.
Cooper said the city must remain vigilant.
“As long as there are drug users there are going to be drug dealers and as long as there are drug dealers there are going to be incidences of violence,” Cooper said.
Lt. Shawn Williams, who heads up the CPD Patrol Bureau, said there are many good things happening on the West Side despite the recent shootings.
“We’re going to keep fighting the good fight and try and run these guys back to Detroit. We don’t want what they’re selling,” Williams said.