The violence spread for nearly 10 miles, starting with a fight at a nightclub. It escalated into gunfire, car chases and a crash outside a West Ashley fire station.
When it finally halted, one man was dead, two were wounded and police were trying to piece together four separate crime scenes.
"I would say this was a running gunbattle," Charleston County sheriff's spokesman Maj. John Clark said, describing the events that unfolded early Wednesday.
The dead man was identified as Antwan Wilson, 22, of Charleston. His body was found inside a wrecked gold-colored Chevrolet Impala at Folly Road near Central Park Road, some 25 minutes after the events began to unfold.
Two other men in the vehicle, both suffering from gunshot wounds, were taken to Medical University Hospital.