COLUMBIA (WACH) â?? Sheriff Lott announced an arrest using the RapidHIt Human DNA Identification System to identify 23-year-old Brandon Berry,who is charged with murder and armed robbery.
The Sheriff stated that RCSD is the 1st law enforcement agency in the U.S. using this technology, which can generate profiles in 90 minutes. This piece of equipment would have cost the Department $200,000 but was given to the Sheriffâ??s Department based on the excellence of their forensics lab.
RCSD investigators collected DNA from the suspects clothing, after Berry wrestled with the victim. The DNA samples were turned over to the RCSD Forensics Lab. RapidHit positively identified the DNA samples as belonging to the victims. The suspect was identified within 2 hours using RapidHit.
Just after 4am on Tuesday, July 29, at Oakcrest Drive, RCSD deputies responded to a report of shots fired. Deputies located the victim with a gunshot wound to the lower body on the sidewalk. The victim was getting out of his vehicle when Berry ran up to him, pointing a gun, and demanded his money. A struggle ensued between the victim and Berry, and Berry fired multiple shots as the victim tried to get away. Berry fled on foot. The victim was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
On Tuesday, July 29 at 11am at Springhouse Drive and Alyesford Place, deputies on patrol observed a driver and a passenger not wearing seatbelts. The deputies pulled the vehicle over and noticed that a child was in the back with no car seat present. While the deputy was speaking to the driver at the rear of the vehicle, Berry slid over to the driverâ??s seat and fled the area with his two year old in the back seat, before jumping out. Deputies secured the vehicle and the child, while additional deputies pursued Berry through the woods and into an apartment complex. He was apprehended after a short chase.
RCSD Crime Lab was able to match the Glock 9MM found in Berryâ??s possession as the handgun used in the attempted murder and armed robbery.