COLUMBIA, SC — A 16-year-old accused of shooting a 14-year-old girl at Latimer Manor in north Columbia will be charged as an adult, according to Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago,
The charges also have been upgraded.
Raekwon C. Ford, 16, now is charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. His name has been released because he is being charged as an adult.
He was previously was charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol and unlawful carrying of a pistol by a person under the age of 18.
Police said additional information led investigators to believe the 9:15 p.m. Sunday shooting was intentional. Investigators thought at the time of the shooting that it was not intentional.
Police Sgt. William Pegram said earlier this week that the alleged shooter is “a known gang member.”
The shooter is suspected of acting in a reckless manor by brandishing a handgun and pointing it at the teen victim before the shooting, Santiago said in a news release Wednesday.
The bullet struck the 14-year-old in the chest. She is still receiving medical treatment at a local hospital, Santiago said.
Investigators continue to investigate a motive for the shooting.
The young man was standing around a group of people when he fired the gun, police department spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons said earlier.
Latimer Manor is a public housing complex on Lorick Avenue near North Main Street and Monticello Avenue in north Columbia. Neither the victim nor the suspect live at the complex, Timmons said.
The girl lives at Hammond Village, another public housing complex off the nearby River Drive, Timmons said. The 16-year-old boy lives in northeast Richland.
Police did not know what the two teens were doing at Latimer Manor, but Pegram said it is common for groups of young people to hang out there at night. The teen frequents Latimer Manor, a known gang hot spot, Pegram said.
CPD consulted with the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office regarding the case and charges.
Ford is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
Staff writer Noelle Phillips contributed.