N. Augusta shooting unintentional

NORTH AUGUSTA --- A North Augusta man was arrested in the fatal shooting of his brother Friday.

North Augusta Department of Public Safety charged Antonio Middleton, 20, of the 400 block of Bradleyville Road, with involuntary manslaughter after his brother Lee Andrew Middleton Jr., 21, was shot and killed at their housing complex, public safety Lt. Tim Pearson said in a news release.

Antonio Middleton is being held at the Aiken County Detention Center.

Lt. Pearson said he could not go into detail about why Mr. Middleton shot his brother, but he did say the shooting didn't happen out of "malice or intent."

"Mr. Middleton did have the gun in his hand, and it discharged," he said. "He has to take responsibility for that."

Both men lived in building B of Riverview Manor Apartments, Lt. Pearson said. The victim was visiting a friend in building D about 10 a.m. when he was shot once in the upper chest, Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton said. His body was found at the first-floor landing, and he died, Mr. Carlton said.

The .38-caliber used in the shooting has been obtained as evidence, Lt. Pearson said. Several incidents have been reported at Riverview in the past, Lt. Pearson said. Drugs, domestic violence and other incidents have been reported at the housing complex.

"There is a criminal element there, but these are not all bad people," he said. "These people want to have a quality of life without the riff-raff. Unfortunately, they have had to deal with the issues of crime."

Several residents and onlookers Friday complained that the department of public safety had not been monitoring the area, Lt. Pearson said. He said his deputies ride through the complex daily.

"There was some frustration coming out of folks, but we have been doing our part," he said. "We're doing all we can to deter that criminal element."

The killing marks the first in 2009 for North Augusta, Lt. Pearson said. An autopsy will be conducted in Newberry today.

Reach Stephanie Toone at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com.