COLUMBIA, S.C. — Columbia police have arrested one suspect and are looking for at least two others in connection with Saturday's shooting at the Columbiana Centre mall. Officers have also now raised the total number of injured to 14 people, up from 12 earlier.
Officers announced just after 12 a.m. Sunday that 22-year-old Jewayne Price is charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol. The agency said they're consulting with the 11th Circuit Solicitor's Office about possible additional charges.
Police said Price was one of three people initially detained by police shortly after the shooting. Two others who officers had detained have been released after officers determined they were not involved in the shooting.
Police said they now believe that at least three suspects were displaying firearms inside the mall and investigators are working to determine how many suspects fired their guns, injuring multiple people.
Officers also updated the number of people injured, saying there are now 14 injuries: 9 of the victims from gunshot wounds, with five others who suffered injuries like broken bones, cuts, and a head injury while attempting to leave the mall.
As of early Sunday, the only victim who is still hospitalized is a 73-year-old woman. All others were treated and released.
Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said earlier in the day the shooting was not random, and that he believes the people involved knew each other, and the incident likely came from an ongoing conflict. Police are asking anyone with information on the events that led up to the incident to call them at 803-545-3525.
Holbrook said 911 got a call at 2:03 p.m. of a shooting from someone near the Gap Store in the mall. When police got there, they found multiple injuries.
The victims ranged in age from 15 to 73 years old. Some were taken to nearby Prisma Health Parkridge, while others went to Prisma Health Richland and Lexington Medical Center. Prisma Health issued a statement saying 11 of the patients were taken to their hospitals in the area. They later said 9 of those 11 patients have been treated and released while two remain hospitalized, but that total has since changed.
Witnesses tell News19 they heard "multiple" loud gunshots ring out inside the building and then people began rushing from stores. They also said they saw several people on the ground with apparent injuries.
Daniel Johnson of Alabama was with his family at the mall when the chaos started. "I was just enjoying some food in the food court and kind of heard the shots and then I saw just a mob of people running toward the doors,' he said. "People were getting stepped on and trampled."
Holbrook said after the shooting happened, people inside the mall were told to shelter in place. Officers went door to door to get those people out of where they had been hiding.
Law enforcement set up a reunification site for those who have family involved in the shooting at a nearby hotel.
The Columbiana Mall management issued a statement through Columbia Police on the shooting: "Today’s isolated, senseless act of violence is extremely upsetting and our thoughts are with everyone impacted. We are grateful for the quick response and continued support of our security team and our partners in law enforcement.”
Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann decried the violence, saying, “our community is saddened by this senseless shooting and the pain it caused to innocent bystanders. Our focus is on getting them treatment right now and on being supportive of the multiple law enforcement agencies working together to bring these criminals to justice.”
The mall will be closed until further notice, the mall said on its website.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as they develop.