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Fundraiser for Tyreik Gadsden Medical Bill Raises over $7,000
6/3/2015 4:01:39 PM

Rev. Nelson Rivers at podium. Photo by Joel Woodhall
By Joel Woodhall

Charleston community officials held a fundraiser to support 5-year- old shooting victim Tyreik Gadsden, on Monday evening, at the International Longshoremen's Association, on Morrison Drive. The event attracted support from many high-ranking officials from the state level, Charleston City officials, local businesses, and the religious community. The fundraiser raised $7,515 for the Tyreik Gadsden Benefit Fund.
Monday’s fundraiser was lead in prayer, which was followed by speakers from many different agencies. The National Action Network, who was the main lead for event, was strongly supported by South Carolina House Representative, Wendell Gilliard.
As Representative Gilliard painted the picture when he received the phone call that a 5- year-old boy had been shot on the East Side, Gilliard put much emphasis on the fact that the community needed to come together during this time of tragedy.
“This is not a black issue or a white issue, this is a human issue,” Representative Gilliard stated.
In-between speakers, the room was filled with music and dancing from local artists, such as Taylor Made Praise Dancers and the Lucas Sisters.
Michael Cooper, an attorney from McLeod Law Group, is representing the Gadsden family, free of charge. Cooper expressed that the family is thankful that Tyreik is alive and his heath is progressive. He continued to plead that everybody must cooperate with law enforcement and asks that the shooter end this search now.
Charleston City Councilman, Robert Mitchell, expressed that because of this moment, he wants to push for tougher gun legislation in South Carolina.
Family member, Elaine Barnett, described 5-year-old Tyreik as “full of life, bubbly, and in good spirits.” “He’s a trooper.”
Members expressed with anger that Tyreik very well could have been any one of their sons. Stories from speakers were passed of their own innocent children just walking down the streets of Charleston.
Charleston Chief of Police, Gregory Mullen, said his first reaction to hearing about the shooting of Tyreik Gadsden was “sickness.”
“Words can’t describe seeing a 5 year old stretched out on a hospital bed.” The police chief praised Tyreik for being so courageous, haling him as a hero.
Chief Mullen couldn’t comment on the events that took place leading up to Tyreik Gadsden getting shot. The chief did confirm some sort of “gun battle” was taking place and young Gadsden found himself in the middle of it. Multiple shots were fired.
Chief Mullen said that there are people in the community that know who did this and witnessed the event. The chief did express fear for retaliation against the perpetrator, saying that this coward crossed the line.

“The community should be outraged that a 5 year old cannot walk out of his back door. If people accept this, it continues to happen.”
Future fundraisers for Tyreik Gadsden will be held. Donations for the "Tyreik Gadsden Benefit Fund" are accepted at any South Carolina Federal Credit Union.  If you have any information regarding the shooting of Tyreik Gadsden, which took place on the night of May 22, 2015, you are urged by the family members, community officials, and law enforcement to report what you know.  
Call Charleston Police Department at (843) 577-7434 or Crime Stoppers at (843) 554-1111.

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