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Bullet from Charleston shootout goes through child's bedroom window

A stray bullet from a shootout in Charleston where 20 shots were fired came through a child's window. (WCHS/WVAH)

A bullet from a shootout Tuesday night on Charleston's West Side went through the window of a child's bedroom.

Police said they are now searching for three men believed to be involved in the gunfire that started about 8:30 p.m. outside the old Park Place Bar at the corner of Central and Park avenues.

Two homes were caught in the crossfire, said Lt. Tony Hazelett, chief of detectives of the Charleston Police Department. An elderly woman's front door was shattered in the 600 block of Park Avenue, along with the stray bullet that pierced a window of an apartment in the 800 block of Central Avenue.

"I hate to bring my kids up around this," said Tony Rush, who lives in the home that was hit on Central Avenue. "This is just too much. Like, this is the third time this year, literally, like mostly all of the shootouts that happen over in this area, my house has been struck."

Rush pointed out the bullet hole in the window that also traveled through the walls of the home.

"My youngest daughter asked me, was I going to protect her? And it's just something," Rush said. "Of course I'm going to tell her I can protect her, but I can't protect her from stray bullets."

Hazelett said 20 rounds were fired from three different weapons. The shooting continued down Park Avenue to Virginia Street near the Family Dollar.

"We have a strong lead in this case," Hazelett said Wednesday.

Hazelett said police believe they know the identities of the three men. They said two were in a red Nissan Xterra SUV and the other suspect was on foot. They said the third suspect also fired shots in the incident.

"When you have, you know, up to 20 rounds being fired, we need to take these guys off the streets quickly," Hazelett said.

Rush said his four children had just finished cleaning their rooms and came downstairs just minutes before the shots rang out.

"Just in time," he said.

Rush gathered the children, between the ages of 1 and 8, in the stairwell of the home to try and protect them.

"She felt the debris from the wall fall on her and she was letting us know, 'Mommy, daddy, something is falling on me!' We were like, 'You're OK, you're OK,' but come to find out, she was actually right," Rush said.

The debris his daughter felt was from the wall that the bullet struck after traveling through the window.

Police have not released the identities of the three suspects.

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