Witnesses describe Five Points shooting as 'terrifying'
Columbia, S.C. (WACH) -- John Geiger was out in Five Points Saturday night celebrating a friend's birthday. Around 2 a.m., he said he suddenly heard gunshots.
"I saw everybody start running and pushing people, grabbing people, pulling them in the buildings and stuff," said Geiger.
He said his first thought was to grab his friends and help them to safety. He knew the shots happened around Gervais Street, but he says the streets erupted in chaos.
"It was really terrifying," said Geiger. "I was really scared. I didn't know who was going to get hit, who had the gun. It was just crazy."
The Columbia Police Department has several officers on foot in the area. Shortly after the shots were fired, the officers discovered two victims in the 2000 block of Greene Street. They administered first aid and then they were transported to the hospital.
Police discovered a third victim soon after near the intersection of Greene and Pavillion Streets.
Officials say two of the victims are in critical condition, and the third is stable. According to the CPD, all were in their early 20s.
We are unaware of anything that happened earlier in the night that led to this. This seemed to be isolated to something that occured as the bars were letting out between one person and...we cfan't even say at this point that the victims that were struck were targets or not.
The CPD release surveillance photos that afternoon with four persons of interest in the case. Authorities say all of them turned themselves into the department after seeing the photos.
Since then, 22-year-old Arthur Jones was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. He is being detained at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. Authorities have not confirmed if he is one of the men in the photo given.
Chief Skip Holbrook says that the St. Patrick's Day holiday and the night's post-celebrations were all relatively routine. Holbrook says it appears to be an isolated incident.
Geiger says the night was one he won't soon forget.
"We called each of our friends that were in the group with us talking," said Geiger. "We met up at one location. Everybody was crying and terrified. We were just shielded by God; that's all."
Jones is scheduled for a bond hearing at 9 a.m. at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
Anyone with cell phone video/pictures, as well as anyone who has information about the incident are still encourage to contact the CPD at (803) 545-3500.