Crime & Courts

Drunk man disrupted SC prayer vigil for synagogue shooting victims, cops say

11 killed and multiple people injured during Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

11 people were killed and multiple people were injured in a shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Oct. 27. Police said the suspect is in custody.
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11 people were killed and multiple people were injured in a shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Oct. 27. Police said the suspect is in custody.

A Louisiana man was arrested after repeatedly disrupting a Charleston prayer vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, according to police.

The disturbance happened Sunday evening at Marion Square Park in Charleston, according to a Charleston Police Department incident report. A candlelight vigil for the 11 victims of Saturday’s shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue was being held at the time.

While a speaker made comments about assault rifle legislation, a man in attendance at the vigil shouted “Get out” and “This isn’t political,” according to the incident report. Officers escorted the man away from the crowd.

The man, identified by his Louisiana ID as Kenny Paulk, of Lake Charles, had a strong odor of alcohol beverage on his breath and “often spoke in circles,” police said. Paulk told officers he was in town visiting family and decided to attend the prayer vigil.

Paulk’s wife called his cellphone while officers spoke with him but he refused to answer, police said. He continued talking so loud that several people approached him and the officers and asked them to move farther away.

When police told Paulk he should answer his phone and allow his wife to pick him up because of his intoxication, he refused and told them, “I’d rather go to jail,” the report states. Officers charged Paulk with public disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

He was taken to the Charleston County Detention Center, where he was released on $257 bond.

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