South Carolina - ~Police say North Charleston triple-homicide stemmed from confrontation between two motorcycle clubs; 911 calls reveal chaos, fear~
For two members of the Real Kings motorcycle club, it was supposed to be a simple stop to pick up some equipment Saturday afternoon.
The two men riding from Columbia decided to browse the Cycle Gear store on Dorchester Road after 3:15 p.m. Then five members of a local biker club called Wheels of Soul followed them inside and asked them to leave, police said.
Outside, 15 more Wheels of Soul members stood waiting in the parking lot.
When the two Real Kings didn't budge, fists started flying. One motorcyclist grabbed a stick and beat a man unconscious, police said.
Something between the two motorcycle clubs ignited the fight, then sparked a hail of bullets that left three men dead. North Charleston police have spent the days since trying to figure out what that was, and what exactly took place during the melee that followed.
Some of what they had learned was revealed in arrest affidavits released Monday.
At some point during the fight, the documents show, 41-year-old Maurice Horry of the Real Kings escaped the store through the front door and ran to his motorcycle. When he came back he had a gun that he waved at his rivals, ordering the men to back away, police said.
That's when investigators said 43-year-old Ronald Reid of Summerville pulled a pistol he was carrying at his side and shot Horry in the chest. Horry also fired his gun and hit Reid's leg, witnesses told police.
When the gunfire ended, Horry was dead. Reid's friend, 36-year-old Theodore Waymyers Jr. of Summerville, and another fellow Wheels of Soul member, 39-year-old Carlos Davis, also were killed.
Reid is the only man who faces a murder charge, though Barry Alfonzo Stinson, 32, of Charlotte and a Wheels of Soul member, is charged with second-degree assault and battery by mob because of his alleged role in the fight.
Emotions boiled over Monday during a bond hearing for Reid as his family and Horry's relatives exchanged words about who was the aggressor.
Reid had a concealed-weapons permit and had acted in self-defense, according to his brother, 44-year-old Keith Reid of Summerville. He had just stopped to buy a helmet, Keith Reid said.
"He won't pull his gun out like that unless he's trying to defend himself," he said. "They're in there fighting. ... He felt threatened.
"Then his friend got killed right there."
Investigators are still trying to pinpoint what sparked the confrontation, North Charleston Police Department spokesman Spencer Pryor said.
Before Saturday's violence, police were unaware of any problems between the two clubs, he said.
Investigators are trying to determine if more than two guns were involved in the shooting, and whose weapon was responsible for killing Waymyers and Davis, Pryor said.
A post that Horry's brother, Darrel, put on Facebook indicated his thoughts on the matter: "Yea its tru my lil bru is dead kids without a father! ! Fbf I shouldn't say this part (at least he kill 2 of u (expletives) in tears horry boy 4 life."
The affidavit for Stinson mentioned that he was acting with three named co-defendants, but the document does not identify them. Stinson was accused of joining the others in the fight and using a "paddle stick" to hit a man on the head until the man lost consciousness, the document stated.
During a bond hearing, Stinson told a magistrate that he is disabled but that he was going to start classes soon at the Art Institute of Charlotte. He was in Charleston this weekend visiting a friend, he said.
Stinson was convicted of failure to stop for a blue light last year, and had previous convictions for DUI and driving under suspension.
More arrests are possible, Pryor said. In the meantime, police are keeping an eye out for problems between the two clubs and their supporters as a result of the homicides, he added.
"We've spoken to the families and friends of some of the victims and have asked them not to pursue any retaliation," Pryor said, "to allow us to conduct our investigation and let justice be served."
A tense hearing
As Reid and Stinson appeared for a bond hearing Monday afternoon, detectives, security officers and members of the North Charleston police gang unit milled about the courtroom and in the parking lot. They watched for any trouble between the motorcycle clubs.
More than 20 people from Reid's and Horry's families filled the room.
Virginia Horry, Horry's mother, stood before the magistrate with her husband, who is a pastor, and Horry's wife, Meredith. She said her son had gone into the shop to buy things when some men followed him inside.
"My children were brought up Christian," she said. "I always taught them when they see trouble to walk away."
She called her son a hard-working truck driver with four children. The youngest is 4 years old, she said, and "cries often since this happened."
"I told him his dad is in heaven, and he's not going to come back," she said. "He asked, 'Granny, can you call him so I can speak to him?'"
Elizabeth Harkin spoke in support of Reid and told the judge that Reid is a compassionate, nice man.
"He only defended himself," she said.
As Harkin spoke, she started to say that Horry had killed others during the fight. Horry's relatives gasped and stood up. Security and police officers quelled the outburst.
Reid bowed his head as Horry's family spoke. He sat in a wheelchair because of the bullet wound in his leg.
His wife and two of his three children stood in the courtroom and held each other. They wept, but they said nothing. His brother stood and described Reid as a good, family man.
Reid's criminal record in South Carolina is limited to a 1990 conviction for disorderly conduct and a 1989 marijuana possession charge with no disposition, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.
"I hope they get to the bottom of this and get to the bottom of this real fast," his brother told The Post and Courier after the hearing. "I know people are hurting, but this thing here is something else."
Reid and Waymyers were friends who often rode motorcycles together. People knew Waymyers as "Theo."
Across from Waymyers' brick house on Leisure Drive north of Summerville, neighbor Robert Defibaugh said Waymyers often worked on motorcycles and cars in a backyard shed. He rode a white road cruiser motorcycle, like a Victory or a Harley-Davidson.
His main job was with S.C. Electric and Gas, Defibaugh said.
The last time Defibaugh saw Waymyers was last week. Waymyers' son - who Defibaugh estimated is 5 or 6 years old - had lost track of a remote-control helicopter that crashed into the trees on Defibaugh's property.
"It was a $100 toy," Defibaugh said. "They were searching everywhere, but I don't know if they ever did find it."
Calls show chaos
The 911 calls about the shooting indicate some of the circumstances that the police are still trying to sort out.
Cycle Gear employees seemed relatively calm under pressure while screaming and gunshots echoed around them.
Manager Stan Foxworthy told a dispatcher that he and his employees were holed up inside the store while a dozen motorcyclists fought outside, some carrying guns.
"We've got a bunch of motorcyclists out there," he said. "They started a fight inside the store, took it outside and now we've got a bunch of guys firing guns at each other."
Another caller asked the dispatcher to send help because "they started popping caps off."
"Is anyone injured?" the dispatcher asked.
"Yeah, there's a guy (expletive) down," the caller said, his voice cracking. "He got shot."
Another employee told a 911 operator that a man was inside the store with a gun, "but they won't let him out." The dispatcher expressed concern that a gunman would pose a danger to the workers.
"I'm not worried about him," the caller said. "He's scared to death."
The operator asked the caller if he could get the gun.
"Sir, can you put that in this bag?" the worker asked someone inside the store.
"I've got it secure," the caller later said. "It's not locked, but it's out of sight, out of mind."
The employee had picked up the gun with a plastic bag and put it in a microwave.