A man was stabbed to death Wednesday at a Walmart in Mt Pleasant while hundreds of people were inside shopping.
The fatal stabbing happened at the Walmart in the Oakland Market shopping center on US 17 North. Police arrested 18-year-old Darius Green and charged him with murder. Green will be in bond court Thursday morning.
Witnesses described hoe what started off as a normal trip to the store quickly turned into a terrifying experience.
"Employees were seen running away from cash registers," said witness Dan Wilkins. "Gates were being slid shut by small business owners. Managers were starting to rush people out of the store."
According to Mt Pleasant police, the chaos began when 20-year-old Walmart employee David Moultrie and Green got into a fight outside of the store. Police say that is when Green stabbed Moultrie, who then staggered back into Walmart's lobby where he collapsed and later died.
Shortly after the stabbing, Wilkins and his daughter, Kelsie were inside the store shopping when they heard a loud noise, which they say sounded like a gunshot. The sound sent employees and customers scrambling for a place to hide.
"They were yelling 'get out, get out!' " Wilkins recalled.
Police later said that the loud noise was caused by a falling shelf. Police say it is unusual to see a violent crime like this in Mt Pleasant and in the middle of the day in a crowded area.
"The possibility of becoming a victim of violent crime in Mt. Pleasant is very slim but it does happen," said Capt. Stan Gragg of the Mt. Pleasant Police Department.
In the last six months there's been more crime in Mt. Pleasant than there has been in the last five years.
"This is a pretty safe community in Mt. Pleasant, so this is a real surprise," Wilkins said.
Earlier this month, in the same shopping plaza, two men forced their way into the back of a McDonald's restaurant, shooting one of the store managers and making off with cash. Those suspects have since been arrested.
In Wednesday's stabbing, Mt. Pleasant police say they detained Green in Awendaw shortly after the fight.
Police closed the Walmart for several hours while they were investigating, but it reopened later Wednesday night.