Suspect caught in shooting of Columbia mayor’s brother-in-law

slyttle@charlotteobserver.com; earriero@charlotteobserver.comDecember 10, 2013 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say Arthur Givens, 40, was arrested Tuesday morning at a residence in southwest Charlotte. He is charged in last Friday’s shooting death of Donald Gist, brother-in-law of Columbia’s mayor. (Mecklenburg County Jail photo.)

MECKLENBURG COUNTY JAIL

The man wanted in connection with last Friday’s slaying of the brother-in-law of Columbia’s mayor was arrested Tuesday morning, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.

Arthur Givens, 40, was taken into custody without incident at a residence on Echodale Drive, off Nations Ford Road in southwest Charlotte, according to police.

Investigators said Givens is charged with murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, assault with a deadly weapon and communicating threats, according to police.

Gist, 38, was shot and killed Friday afternoon in the 2100 block of Beatties Ford Road near LaSalle Street in northwest Charlotte.

He is the brother-in-law of Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin.

Gist’s family, in a statement, thanked Mayor Patrick Cannon, Police Chief Rodney Monroe, and “the men and women of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for their swift action in identifying and apprehending” Givens.

“We have a long way to go yet, but this is an important step in the right direction,” the family said.

Police said the preliminary investigation indicates the shooting wasn’t a random act, as the assailant and the victim appear to have known each other.

It’s not clear why Gist was in Charlotte. Police have not said where he was from, but a public records search shows his most recent address was in Columbia.

Records show in the late 1990s that Givens served about three years in prison for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

He has an extensive violent arrest history that includes convictions for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, use of a firearm during drug trafficking, weapons offenses, felony drug offenses and probation violations, police said.

Lyttle: 704 358-6107

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