Nine People Were Shot After At Least One Person Opened Fire In A South Carolina Mall

Police believe gunfire broke out at a Columbia mall after a conflict between at least three individuals who were armed. There were no fatalities.

Three armed people in helmets and uniforms walk along the street with other officers and cars in the background
Sean Rayford / AP Photo

Authorities outside Columbiana Centre mall in Columbia, South Carolina, following a shooting on April 16

Police on Monday announced they arrested 20-year-old Marquise Love Robinson, one of three suspects in a shooting that left nine people shot and six others injured at a South Carolina mall on Saturday.

Robinson is charged with attempted murder and nine counts of aggravated assault and battery.

On Sunday, police said they had detained a 22-year-old suspect Jewayne M. Price, who was initially taken into custody as a person of interest. Price will be charged with attempted murder and nine counts of aggravated assault and battery, police said Monday during a news conference. He is being held at the Lexington County Detention Center.

Police are still looking for the third suspect, 21-year-old Amari Sincere-Jamal Smith.

Authorities from several agencies responded to reports of gunfire at about 2:03 p.m. local time near the Gap store at the Columbiana Centre mall, said Columbia Police Chief William Holbrook. The chief of police initially said that officials believed the gunfire broke out after a conflict between at least three individuals who were armed. Police have seized two handguns they believe were used in the shooting.

"We don't believe this was random," Holbrook said during a news conference. "We believe that the individuals that were armed knew each other and there was some type of conflict that occurred that resulted in gunfire."

All three were detained as people of interest, Holbrook said, but two were released later that day after they were cleared of involvement in the shooting. Investigators called the shooting "an isolated incident" that was likely due to an ongoing conflict. At least three suspects "displayed firearms inside the mall," police said.

There were no fatalities in the shooting. The victims ranged in age from 15 to 73. By Monday afternoon, the only victim who was still being treated at a hospital was a 73-year-old woman, Holbrook said.

Mallgoers described a chaotic scene as the shooting broke out. Witnesses said that at first they thought the gunfire was rain, but when they saw people running, they realized the sounds were actually rapid gunshots, according to the State.

Cindy Paris Rectenwald told the newspaper that people were "screaming and yelling" as they ran for the exits. Rectenwald said she and her daughter Rachel lost each other for a moment as they fled with the crowd.

It “was like something that’d you see in a movie,” she told the State.

In a statement released by police, Columbiana Centre said it was grateful for the "quick response" by mall security and law enforcement.

"Today’s isolated, senseless act of violence is extremely upsetting and our thoughts are with everyone impacted," the mall said.

The shooting at the busy mall comes three days after several people were shot in a subway car in New York City during the morning rush hour.

The American Public Health Association says gun violence in the US is a public health crisis. It is a leading cause of premature death in the country, responsible for more than 38,000 deaths annually. As of April 12, at least 11,874 people have died from gun violence this year, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.