South Carolina police say they will not be filing criminal charges against a man who shot and killed a 15-year-old boy in a confrontation over a stolen car on January 17, our affiliate WCIV reports.
In a statement Monday, North Charleston Police Department spokesman Spencer Pryor said NCPD leaders have examined the evidence in the case, and have determined after consulting with attorneys from the 9th Circuit Solicitor's Office that the case cannot be prosecuted.
According to police, Derrick Grant, 15, was shot and killed by Quadarrel Morton the morning of Jan. 17 after Morton saw Grant attempting to enter Morton's girlfriend's vehicle, which Morton reported stolen the night before.
"The death of Derrick A. Grant is a tragedy for his family and for this community," Pryor said in a prepared statement Monday.
"Because of the seriousness of this incident and the legal principles implicated by these facts, we have consulted with the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office in this matter. After reviewing the case and all available evidence, we have determined that this incident, however tragic, is not reasonably prosecutable under the law of the State of South Carolina. Therefore, the North Charleston Police Department will not be filing any criminal charges. The Solicitor's Office has voiced its support of our decision."
The confrontation occurred on the same street where Morton's girlfriend Tamara Sumter lives, about two miles away from the Rivers Market, where Morton reported the vehicle stolen the previous night, according to police.
Morton told North Charleston Police the previous night the vehicle was stolen after he left it running with the keys inside while he went inside the store.
Police say Morton, Sumter and members of her family were preparing to leave the house around 7:30 the next morning, when a family member spotted Sumter's stolen car parked down the street from their home in a cul-de-sac.
According to police, Sumter then used the car's keyless entry remote to activate the car's horn, confirming it was hers. After the horn sounded, Morton told officers a person came outside with keys in his hand and approached the car.
Morton told police and 911 dispatchers he ordered the person to stop and asked him what he was doing, but Morton says the person didn't acknowledge him. Morton told police he fired gunshots at Grant after the teen "reached for something" inside the stolen vehicle.
Grant died at the scene from a gunshot to the chest, according to the Charleston County Coroner's Office. The Coroner's Office said Grant is from Charleston. Celestial Court is located near Boeing in North Charleston.