SC State student charged with murder in shooting death of fellow student

ccope@thestate.comJanuary 25, 2014 

— A 19-year-old from Charleston was charged Saturday with murder in the shooting death of a fellow South Carolina State University student.

Justin Bernard Singleton, has been charged with murder. He was arrested early Saturday morning and jailed at the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Detention Center, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Singleton was arguing with Brandon Robinson outside of Andrew Hugine Suites Hall, an on-campus dormitory, when Singleton pulled out a gun and fired at Robinson hitting him in the neck area, the arrest warrant alleges.

SLED spokesman Thom Berry said the investigation is continuing and did not disclose what the motive could have been.

Neither of the two students lived at Hugine Suites, which is a few buildings away from the school’s basketball arena, said university spokeswoman Elizabeth Mosely-Hawkins.

Singleton is enrolled as a sophomore business major, Mosely-Hawkins said. He was charged with public disorderly conduct by S.C. State University police in April, according to his arrest record.

Singleton’s mother is an employee at S.C. State, Mosely-Hawkins confirmed.

S.C. State’s campus and nearby Claflin University were on lockdown for several hours Friday as authorities searched off campus for four males seen near Robinson before he was shot.

SLED spokesman Thom Berry declined to say Saturday whether investigators were continuing to hunt for three other suspects. Detectives are confident Singleton pulled the trigger, he said.

Robinson, from Orangeburg, was a 20-year-old who played football for the university and studied industrial engineering technology.

“The S.C. State University family is devastated by the tragic loss of Brandon,” president Thomas J. Elzey stated in a news release. “Our hearts are heavy with grief and sorrow by the senseless act of violence, which took too soon a beloved member of our university family.”

Robinson was paying his way through college and all he wanted to do was play football for the university, Bulldog head coach Buddy Pough said in a news release.

“We are at loss for words right now,” Pough stated. “The entire university and our athletic family are grieving right now and our hearts are heavy. Our deepest condolences go out to the Robinson family.”

The university’s counseling and development center opened Saturday and will be open Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for any student, staff or faculty, Mosely-Hawkins said.

The Associated Press contributed. Reach Cope at (803) 771-8657.

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