COLUMBIA (WACH) â?? Officials encourage citizens to call CrimeStoppers if they can identify of locate three males who may have information regarding last weekendâ??s Five Points shooting.
The males, who were seen on surveillance video, may have gotten into an argument with shooting suspect Michael Juan Smith.
The men may have witnessed the crime and may be able to provide valuable information to CPD.
The shooting occurred shortly before 2:30AM at the 700 block of Harden Street.
A 18-year-old USC student was shot and paralyzed as a result. She was not the intended target.
More than ten officers were still on patrol in Five Points when they heard gunshots and ran to the threat.
An officer located the suspect, Michael Juan Smith, 20. He was intercepted at Pops Pizza while allegedly running away from the scene.
Officers reviewed surveillance video of the incident and Smith is seen on video committing the crime.
The gun believed to have been used to commit the crime was reported stolen out of Richland Countyâ??s jurisdiction.
Smith is charged 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.
"Five Points is a vibrant hospitality district and one that is always thriving.â?? Said Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago. â??When criminals go there or anywhere in the city to do their dirty work, itâ??s personal for me. There are always two officers on every street corner in Five Points, and additional officers on foot and vehicle patrol. We continuously review ways to protect the city. We will continue to work with law enforcement partners such as SLED to stop the violence. We are proactive.â??
Ryan Ellison, 17, is charged with Public Disorderly Conduct.
Chief Santiago encourages citizens with information about this incident to call, text, or submit online, their anonymous tip to CrimeStoppers by calling 1-888-CRIME-SC, texting CRIMES (274637), and mark the beginning of the message with â??TIPSC,â?? followed by the tip information, and logging onto www.midlandscrimestoppers.com, and submit on the red â??Submit a tipâ?? tab.