Charleston Police have arrested three men and charged them with murder related to the homicide of 17-year-old Marley Lion.
Ryan Deleston, 30, was arrested Monday as he exited a CARTA bus on Market Street in downtown Charleston. He faces murder and attempted armed robbery charges as well as charges for using a firearm in the commission of a violent crime and charges for carrying a weapon with a filed-off serial number.
Bryan Latrell Rivers, 27, and Julius Terrell Brown, 31, are also charged with murder and weapons charges related to the homicide. They were arrested Monday when roughly 80 officers conducted a warrants sweep in the Ardmore section of West Ashley.
A fourth suspect, George Brown, is charged with accessory after the fact, Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said.
Lion was shot as he sat in his vehicle in a Savannah Highway parking lot. He died after medical workers transported him to the hospital. The recent high school graduate was planning to attend Clemson University. Before he died, he told police he pulled into the parking lot to rest after drinking too much that evening.
Video surveillance captured the homicide, but police appeared to struggle in getting leads on the case. They pleaded with the public earlier this month for leads in a press conference. Police say ultimately tips led them to the suspects.
Officers received a tip that one of the suspects was interested in selling the firearm used in the homicide. With the assistance of ATF, officers were able to purchase that weapon on July 15, Mullen said.
Ballistic testing confirmed it was the gun used to kill Lion and that's when the arrest occurred. In the meantime, police constantly watched the suspects. All four suspects have been booked into the Charleston County jail.
Secret Service also assisted in improving the video quality of surveillance footage that is believed to have captured the shooting on tape.
Mullen emotionally thanked all of the law enforcement agencies and the community members who helped in the investigation.
"This was a senseless act of violence that has touched our department and our community," he said. "I am proud today of the men and women who helped bring these criminals to justice and I know that Marley would be proud of them to."
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said these arrests carry a message to criminals: "In Charleston, we will catch you and you will go to jail."
Ninth Circuit solicitor Scarlett Wilson congratulated the Charleston department for handling the case in a patient, thoughtful way, even as the community sought swift justice.
"They didn't go in like a bunch of cowboys," she said. "They handled this like pros. It has been painstaking and nerve racking and challenging for them, but they saw fit to do this the right way — to make sure that we have a case we can proceed with."
Wilson also encouraged the community to stay engaged as the case as it heads into the courts. "The journey for justice is just beginning," she said. "We're going to need your help throughout the prosecution. We cannot do this alone."
This is a breaking news update. Check back for more details.