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Lancaster man slain outside residences

LANCASTER -- Two gunshots took the life of a Lancaster man Monday morning, and police are trying to piece together what led to the city's first homicide of 2008.

Derrick Demond Davis, 21, of 806 Pardue St. died around 4 a.m. Monday after being shot twice at a Lancaster apartment complex an hour earlier, according to a Lancaster Police report.

The incident happened around 3 a.m. at the Pardue Street Apartments, a low-income apartment complex off S.C. 9 on the west side of town, said Capt. Harlean Howard of the Lancaster Police Department.

Police have not made any arrests or named a suspect, and Howard said details are limited.

"We've heard it started as an argument," Howard said when asked about a possible motive for the shooting. "But we haven't been able to confirm that yet."

After receiving a 911 call about gunshots being fired at the apartments, officers responded to the 2100 block of Pardue Street and discovered a crowd of 40 to 50 people outside screaming and yelling, the report states.

The officers found Davis surrounded by the crowd, bleeding heavily but with a weak pulse. He was taken to Springs Memorial Hospital, where doctors declared him dead soon after arriving.

Davis was shot twice, once in the right side of his chest, near his neck, and also in his right arm, the report states.

Prina Brown, Davis' aunt, said family members were distraught Monday, including the victim's mother, Bertha Davis, who lived at the apartment complex with her son.

"It's a really bad time for us," Brown said Monday afternoon. "We're definitely gonna miss him."

The shooting led to a series of chaotic 911 calls from neighbors.

"We need a cop out here quick. Somebody's been shot in the projects," one female caller relayed to the dispatcher. "Hurry up, hurry up. Oh my god, I heard the gunshots."

A child's voice can be heard on the recording, available at heraldonline.com, begging for help.

"Send a police, I mean ambulance. ... Somebody told me my uncle just got shot, and I don't know where he's at," the crying child said.

Howard said police are looking for clues by interviewing neighbors but added it's unclear what sparked the violence or the mob of people at the scene.

"If I were to speculate, I'd say they probably heard the gunshots and came outside," Howard said. "The officers are still investigating and talking to neighbors. We really don't have much to report."

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