Police have arrested two men and are looking for another person in connection withat a South Carolina mall that injured nine people and injured six others.
Columbia Police Chief WH “Skip” Holbrook said Monday that Marquise Robinson, 20, was arrested and charged with nine counts of assault and battery of a grievous and aggravated nature, and once of attempted murder and illegal possession of a handgun. . He is currently being held at the Lexington County Detention Center and has a bail hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m.
Jewayne M. Price, 22, who was one of three people originally detained by law enforcement as a person of interest, remains in custody. He was charged with unlawfully carrying a pistol, and nine additional counts of aggravated and aggravated assault and attempted murder were added to his charges, the Columbia Police Department announced Monday.
At a hearing on Sunday, a judge set $25,000 bond for Price, who is under house arrest until his trial, according to Colombia Police. It’s not immediately clear whether Price has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Police are still looking for a third suspect and said they have issued a warrant for the arrest of 21-year-old Amari Sincere-Jamal Smith. He is wanted on nine counts of aggravated and aggravated assault, attempted murder and unlawful carrying of a pistol, and is considered “armed and dangerous”, police said.
Police declined to say whether any of the suspects had ever been arrested.
Fourteen people were initially reportedly injured in the shooting at Columbiana Center. But Holbrook said another victim came forward to police after the incident and reported a non-life-threatening injury.
Holbrook said no deaths have been reported. One person remains in intensive care and other victims have been or will be discharged from local hospitals.
Police say the three men had some sort of disagreement, which led to the shooting. At least two firearms were seized and ballistic evidence from the scene was collected, Holbrook said Monday.
Daniel Johnson said he and his family were from Alabama and were eating in the food court when they first heard gunshots and started seeing people running. Johnson said people were screaming for their children and spouses, knocking over tables in the food court as they fled.
“Everyone was trying to get out,” Johnson said. “When I was going out, you could see strollers turned around, people’s phones and keys left behind. It was kind of a hectic situation.”
Johnson said he gathered his wife, daughter and son and started heading for the exit after letting the crowd loosen up a bit.
“My biggest thing was – and not to sound selfish – was making sure our family was okay and getting them out safely because that’s not something we like to do for the weekend. Easter,” he said.
A heavy police presence continued in the area hours after the shooting, although officers began leaving more traffic on the streets surrounding malls and malls which are usually crowded on weekends. Officers were also stationed outside a nearby hotel designated as a gathering area for those at the scene of the shooting and their families.
Workers from a few stores remained huddled in the nearly empty parking lot on Saturday night, waiting for police to let them inside to collect their car keys and belongings so they could leave. They said they heard and saw nothing during the shooting, but followed the mall’s alert system and were evacuated by police shortly thereafter. They declined to give their names, citing company policies.
“Today’s isolated and senseless act of violence is extremely upsetting and our hearts go out to all those affected,” the Columbiana Center said in a statement. “We are grateful for the quick response and continued support from our security team and law enforcement partners.”
The shooting is the latest in a string of shootings at or near malls across the country.
A 15-year-old boy was shot in the head on Wednesday outside the Atlantic Terminal Mall in Brooklyn. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening. Officials said he was with a group of boys when they got into a fight with a second group.
Tuesday, a Southern California shoe store ownerwhile shooting two shoplifters at the Victor Valley Mall, police said.
And earlier this month, police saidduring a shootout between rival gangs as bars closed in a busy neighborhood near the Downtown Commons mall and the State Capitol.