Local businesses help to find teen's killer

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV){}-- When Christopher Gatlin heard about the murder of 17-year-old Marley Lion, he was shocked. It's that same shock that has led dozens of local businesses to join in the fight to find the teen's killer.

"It's pretty surprising because I grew up in West Ashley my whole life pretty much," Gatlin said. "I've always felt safe in West Ashley. Like I've always felt like it's a really nice place to be."

Gatlin is an employee at Party and Paint, a new paint shop in Avondale.

"Before, I wasn't too worried. It's a lot of good people in the neighborhood. But, things are getting a little bad, I guess."

Police are calling the murder a random senseless act of violence, which is forcing those like Gatlin to be more cognizant of their actions.

"Definitely not going to be here alone at 10 o'clock at night anymore," said Gatlin. "Definitely going to make sure that if we're not having class the doors are locked, the shades are pulled, ya know, things like that."

Party and Paint is one of many businesses that now has a flier on the window asking the community for{}help in finding Lion's killer.

"I think he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and it could happen to anybody. So, I feel like it would just be really important for people to just know and be aware," Gatlin said.

Another business owner, who did not want to share his last name, says it is time for West Ashley to take a stand against crime.

"These people can not get away with this kind of stuff in my neighborhood, my business environment and where I live," said William, who says he rents office space in the same complex where Lion was murdered.

William says he has young staff and does not want his employees to feel unsafe.

"I tell you, my plan is very simple: to make sure that they're safe coming in and out."

Police distributed fliers to dozens of West Ashley businesses.

If you have any information in this case, please call Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.

There is a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest.