Camden Police Department (CPD) officers charged Martrell Johnson Cooke, 23, of Collins Circle, with eight counts of attempted murder in connection with two reports of shots fired, one on Hampton Street, the other on Cooper Street, between 8 and 9 p.m. Wednesday. Officers arrested Cooke on Friday with the assistance of the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office.
According to CPD ChiefJoe Floyd, it all started when Cooke reportedly went to a Hampton Street residence where his child was being cared for by its grandmother.
“He didn’t like the way she was taking care of the child,” Floyd said.
A CPD incident report indicated others at the scene reported the argument stemmed from a child custody dispute about an hour earlier on Campbell Street. Floyd said the grandmother and others at the home convinced Cooke to leave, only to have him allegedly stop a short distance away, get out of the tan GMC Yukon or Chevy Tahoe he was driving and begin shooting back at the home with a rifle.
Two people on the scene said they had arrived by car with their children trying to drop them off with the woman who lives at the Hampton Street address. They told police they left the residence when Cooke began shooting, and that he attempted to run his SUV into them head first, but that they were able to swerve out of the way.
While on the scene on Hampton Street, at least one officer began hearing gunshots coming from the south side of the city. The reporting officer described hearing at least 10 shots and they were “very rhythmic.” The officer left and headed south on Broad Street at which point dispatchers alerted that someone reported shots being fired on the 500 block of Cooper Street with a silver Impala leaving the area.
The officers spotted the Impala, conducted a traffic stop and detained the driver. However, it turned out the man was driving away from the area because of the gunshots. Officers found no weapons and the man agreed to take officers back to the scene so he could show them where it took place.
Floyd explained that after the shooting on Hampton Street, the homeowner -- Cooke’s child’s grandmother -- called her boyfriend to tell him what had happened. That man knew Cooke and reportedly called him to admonish him for shooting back at the home with children around.
“Cooke told him that they’d settle it face-to-face, but the boyfriend told him he wasn’t even in town,” Floyd said. “Cooke went to Cooper Street and fired shots at the house.”
Officers arriving on Cooper Street found shell casings in front of the home and cordoned off the street. One of the the two women who had stopped at Hampton Street told officers she believed Cooke had fired the shots into the other man’s house even though no one was home at the time.
Officers collected 16 shell casings from the scene.
CPD Capt. Herbie Fraser said Cooke May face more charges and that other arrests may be made.