(HorizonPost.com) – Two high school students were arrested on three counts of murder in connection with a shooting at an abandoned house on Sunday that left three teenagers dead and a fourth wounded, the Associated Press reported. The two 17-year-old students showed up at the house Sunday night where the other four teens were hanging out and opened fire after the teens got into an argument over a 2-year-old burglary.
The four victims fled into the backyard as the two shooters chased after them continuing to fire, according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. Three of the teens, ages 16 and 17, later died at the hospital while the 14-year-old who was wounded was treated and released. The Richland County Coroner’s Office identified the three fatalities as JaKobe Fanning, Dre’von Riley, and Caleb Wise. At a press conference on Monday, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said the incident was an escalation of a “beef” between the teens about a burglary from two years ago.
While Sheriff Lott did not say how the two shooters obtained their weapons, he noted that many gun owners in Columbia leave guns in their cars, making them easy to steal.
Lott pointed out that there were 100 vehicle break-ins in Columbia over the weekend. The two shooters were charged with three counts of murder, a count of attempted murder, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, the sheriff’s department said. The investigation is still ongoing and more arrests could follow. Both the shooters and the three deceased attended Eau Claire High School in Columbia. The 14-year-old attended a middle school in the district. District Superintendent Craig Witherspoon and other officials are calling for an increase in out-of-school programs for Columbia-area high school students.
They said while most teenagers don’t commit crimes like Sunday’s murders, shootings should not be normalized. At an event for Columbia-area high school students in the spring, nine people were injured in a park shooting.
Copyright 2023, HorizonPost.com