Columbia Police Chief WH “Skip” Holbrook said 22-year-old Jewayne M. Price, who was one of three people originally arrested by law enforcement as a person of interest, remains in police custody and is expected to be charged with unlawful carrying charged a pistol.
It’s not immediately known if Price has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Fourteen people were injured during the Columbiana Center shooting, Holbrook said in a news release Saturday. The victims were between 15 and 73 years old.
Holbrook said no deaths were reported, but nine people were shot dead and five people injured while trying to flee the mall for safety.
Police said the 73-year-old victim is still receiving medical treatment, but the other victims have been discharged from local hospitals or will be discharged shortly.
“We don’t think this was accidental,” Holbrook said. “We believe they knew each other and something led to the shooting.”
Investigators believe at least three suspects had firearms on display at the mall but are working to determine how many suspects fired guns. At least one firearm was confiscated, police said.
Daniel Johnson said he and his family were visiting from Alabama and eating at the food court when they first heard gunfire and started seeing people running.
Johnson said people cried for their children and spouses and knocked over tables in the food court as they fled.
“Everyone was trying to get outside,” Johnson said. “When I came out you could see prams turned upside down, people’s phones and keys left behind. It was quite a hectic situation.”
Johnson said he gathered his wife, daughter and son and made his way to the exit after clearing out the crowd a bit.
“My biggest thing, and not to sound selfish, was making sure our family was okay and getting them out safely because we don’t like doing that over Easter weekend.”
The heavy police presence in the area continued for hours after the shooting, although officers began allowing more traffic through the streets around malls and malls, which are typically packed on weekends. Officers were also stationed outside a nearby hotel, which has been designated as a reunion area for people at the scene of the shooting and their families.
Workers from a few stores stayed in the mostly empty lot Saturday night, waiting for police to let them back in to get their car keys and personal belongings so they could leave. They said they heard or saw nothing during the shooting but followed the mall’s alarm system and were evacuated by police shortly after. They declined to give their names, citing company policy.
“Today’s isolated, senseless act of violence is extremely disturbing and our thoughts are with all those affected,” the Columbiana Center said in a statement. “We are grateful for the prompt 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 shopping malls across the country.
A 15-year-old boy was shot in the head outside the Atlantic Terminal Mall in Brooklyn on Wednesday. His injuries were not considered life-threatening. Officials said he was with a group of boys when they got into an argument with a second group.
On Tuesday, a Southern California shoe store owner accidentally shot and killed a 9-year-old girl while shooting at two shoplifters in the Mall of Victor Valley, police said.
And earlier this month, police said six people were killed and 12 others injured in a shootout between rival gangs in Sacramento, California, when bars in a busy neighborhood near the Downtown Commons mall and the state capitol closed.
The video in the player above is from a previous report.
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https://abc13.com/south-carolina-mall-shooting-columbiana-columbia-sc-police-department/11759001/ South Carolina mall shooting: The Columbia, SC Police Department arrests Jewayne M. Price after shots were fired at Columbiana, injuring 14