Police have arrested a man in connection with a shooting at a busy Columbia, South Carolina, mall that left 14 people injured and sent panicked Easter weekend shoppers fleeing for safety.
Jewayne M. Price, 22, who was initially detained by law enforcement as a person of interest alongside two other men, was being held in the Saturday shooting, Columbia Police Chief W.H. “Skip” Holbrook said.
Price will be charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol and may face other charges, according to a police release. He will be housed at the Lexington County Detention Center, according to a tweet from the police department. The two other men initially detained have been released from police custody.
Fourteen people were injured in the shooting and ensuing “stampede” at Columbiana Centre Mall Saturday afternoon, and ranged in age from 15 to 73, police said. Nine victims were treated for gunshot wounds and five suffered “other injuries” while attempting to flee the scene, including broken bones, lacerations and a head injury.
Only one victim, a 73-year-old woman, remained in the hospital for treatment as of late Saturday night.
Police believe three individuals displayed their firearms inside the mall, and early ballistic evidence points to at least two different firearms being used by two suspects, officials said. Police said at least one firearm was seized.
The shooting was not random, police said, but was “an isolated incident between the suspects and likely stemmed from an ongoing conflict.”
The Columbiana Centre Mall’s Code of Conduct prohibits “firearms or illegal weapons” on the premises, according to its website. While South Carolina permits open carry of concealable guns with a training permit as of a new law last August, private or public employers can still prohibit people from carrying on their property, according to the law.
Jaime Harrison, chair of the Democratic National Committee and former chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, shared his sympathy to those injured on Twitter Saturday night.
“These tragedies get closer and closer to home,” Harrison wrote. “I’m sure some Columbia families were just out shopping for Easter weekend & now their lives have been forever changed. The nation must find the the courage, strength, & leadership to stop #GunViolence .”
Contributing: The Associated Press