An 18-year-old USC student was critically wounded early Sunday morning during a shooting in Five Points.
Police said they have arrested the 20-year-old man they believe shot her. But they said she was not the intended target.
The shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. in the 700 block of Harden Street, according to Columbia police.
"This is a senseless crime,” Interim Police Chief Mr. Ruben Santiago said. “Here is a young lady who was standing with a large group of people when she gets shot and then collapses in front of her friends. Now she is fighting for her life in the hospital. The shooter has no respect for human life and will face the consequences. Our prayers are with victim and her family."
More than ten officers were still on patrol in Five Points when they heard gunshots and ran towards the area of the shooting.
While running on Harden Street, an officer spotted the suspect, Mr. Michael Juan Smith and him at Pops Pizza while he was allegedly running away from the scene.
Officers found the gun they believed to have been used to commit the crime on him. That same gun had been reported stolen out of Richland County.
Officers charged Mr. Smith with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a violent felony, unlawful carrying of a pistol, and possession of a stolen pistol.
Investigators believe Mr. Smith was arguing with another man moments before the shooting. But it’s unclear why they were arguing.
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