Third person arrested in connection with South Carolina mall shooting that left 15 people injured, police say
By Amir Vera, Jamiel Lynch and Tina Burnside, CNN
A third suspect has been arrested in connection with last weekend’s mass shooting at a mall in Columbia, South Carolina, that injured 15 people, police said Thursday.
Amari Sincere-Jamal Smith was arrested after turning himself in to law enforcement, the Columbia Police Department said on Twitter. He faces multiple charges, including nine counts of assault and battery, attempted murder and unlawful carry of a handgun.
It was not immediately clear Thursday morning if he had an attorney who would comment on his behalf. His arrest follows those of two other suspects, Marquise Love Robinson, 20, and Jewayne Price, 22.
Robinson was charged with nine counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, attempted murder and unlawful carry of a handgun, Police Chief W.H. “Skip” Holbrook said at a Monday news conference.
Price was arrested the day of the shooting and was charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol, police said in a news release. Holbrook said Monday Price also was facing additional charges of nine counts of aggravated assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and attempted murder.
Price and Robinson were both denied bond Tuesday. Judge Jessica Mangum said, based on the facts presented, the two men were a flight risk and danger to the community, according to tweets from Columbia police.
The shooting Saturday left 15 people injured. Police had initially reported 14 people were injured, but another victim was reported Sunday during interviews, Holbrook said. The 15th victim was injured while standing beside someone who was hit by gunfire. Police said nine people suffered gunshot wounds during the shooting and six others suffered other injuries.
Police believe the motive for the shooting is connected to an ongoing dispute between the suspects. Two handguns have been seized that police believe were used in the shooting, Holbrook said.
It is unknown if Robinson or Smith have attorneys. CNN contacted the solicitor’s office for the state’s 11th judicial circuit, but the messages were not returned.
Price’s attorney, Todd Rutherford, told CNN affiliate WIS-TV Sunday his client “did not do anything to bring about the trouble” and was attacked by two people shooting at him at the mall.
“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,” Rutherford said. “He owns the gun legally, it is registered to him, he bought it legally, he has no prior record, as you heard in court. He does not have a concealed-weapons permit.”
Rutherford said his client knew the attackers and the incident did not stem from a verbal argument turned violent. He added the other suspects allegedly threatened his client on Facebook prior to the shooting.
“This was a situation where they just started to shoot at him,” Rutherford said. “His thoughts and prayers go out to those who were injured in this incident. It was unprovoked by him.”
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CNN’s Aya Elamroussi and Paradise Afshar contributed to this report.