The shooting victims were between 14 and 17 years old.
September 25, 2023, 2:56 PM
The community of Columbia, South Carolina, is reeling from a shooting that left three teenagers dead and a fourth injured.
A 17-year-old allegedly shot four other teenagers — ages 14 to 17 — killing three of them, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said at a news conference Monday.
Sunday afternoon’s shooting apparently stemmed from an earlier dispute. Lott called it an argument “over something stupid” from a few years ago.
The 17-year-old suspect was arrested on charges including three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, the sheriff said.
The injured teen has since been released from the hospital, Lott said.
At the news conference, the sheriff was among officials who decried the violence plaguing their community.
Richland County Sheriff Lott addressed the community on September 25, 2023 regarding the fatal shooting of three teenagers in Richland County, S.C.
Richland County Sheriff’s Department/Facebook
“Three children are dead,” Lott said. ‘If that doesn’t shock you, then something is wrong. So we have to do something. … Now is the time for action.”
“Here we are again,” said Richland County Councilwoman Gretchen Barron.
“Young people have guns and make bad choices. Now it’s left up to us as a community,” she said.
“I stand here as a mother of two African-American boys. And it’s very intentional how we raise them,” she said. “Because I don’t want them to end up like this.”
The sheriff did not say where the gun used in this shooting came from, but he said local teens are stealing guns from cars. He said 100 cars were broken into this weekend.
Extra security is in place Monday on the campus of Eau Claire High School in Columbia, where the three slain teens and the suspected students were, the sheriff and chief said.
“The Richland One family mourns the loss of three young lives to senseless gun violence,” Chief Craig Witherspoon said in a statement. “This is an unimaginable tragedy and we ask everyone to keep the families of the students, the students and staff of Eau Claire High School in your thoughts and prayers.”