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Man Involved In South Carolina Mall Gunfight With 14 Victims Gets Released On House Arrest

Columbia, SC – A gunman involved in a mass shooting at a Columbia mall on Saturday has been released from jail on house arrest and will be allowed to travel to work, according to police.

The Columbia Police Department (CPD) responded to the Columbiana Centre mall at approximately 2:03 p.m. on April 16 after receiving a report of a shooting inside the building, WISTV reported.

Investigators determined nine people were shot and five more were injured after being trampled by the stampeding crowd that was trying to escape the gunfire, WISTV reported.

The victims ranged in age from 15 to 73.

Police said there were no fatalities.

The 73-year-old female victim was the only person still hospitalized on Sunday, according to WISTV.

CPD Chief W.H. “Skip” Holbrook said police detained three “people of interest” at the scene, NBC News reported.

Two of those individuals were later released.

The third individual, 22-year-old Jewayne Price, was arrested on a charge of unlawful possession of a pistol, NBC News reported.

Additional charges may be forthcoming.

The CPD said they believe the shooting erupted after a fight between three people.

“At least three suspects displayed firearms inside the mall,” the department confirmed in a statement, according to NBC News.

Chief Holbrook said at least two people opened fire during the melee.

The CPD described the shooting as an isolated incident that stemmed from an ongoing conflict between at least three individuals.

“We don’t believe this was random,” Chief Holbrook said at a news conference, according to FOX News. “We believe they knew each other and something led to the gunfire.”

Police said none of the 14 victims were involved in the fight that preceded the shooting, according to WLTX.

Investigators have recovered one firearm, WISTV reported.

Just one day later, a judge granted Price a $25,000 surety bond during a hearing at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, according to WLTX.

He will be allowed to travel to work, but must wear an ankle monitor and is prohibited from going to the Columbiana Centre Mall or interacting with anyone else involved in the incident.

Price was previously arrested in June of 2018 on a charge of accessory before the fact in connection with the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Amon Rice, according to FOX News.

The outcome of that case is unclear.

“We catch people, they serve a little bit of time, they get out and they get right back doing what they normally do and that’s commit crimes,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said during a recent press conference, according to FOX News. “The criminal justice system needs to do better.”

Defense attorney J. Todd Rutherford told reporters that Price was acting in self-defense at the time of the shooting, NBC News reported.

Rutherford claimed Price had been threatened by two individuals on Facebook, and that they fired at him before he returned fire.

“It was unprovoked by him,” Rutherford told reporters, according to NBC News. “He called the police, turned himself in, turned over the firearm that was used in this, and gave a statement to the Columbia Police Department. That is why he got a $25,000 bond.”

Rutherford said his client has been cooperating with investigators.

The firearm used in the shooting was legally registered to price, but his attorney conceded his client was carrying it without a concealed weapon permit, NBC News reported.

Price’s next court hearing is set for June 9, according to WISTV.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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