It was business as usual in the Vista on Saturday evening less than a day after eight were injured in a shooting outside of a club that has since been declared a nuisance and shuttered.
Charges were filed on Saturday evening against four people in connection with the shooting that left four women and four men injured earlier in the day. Among the injured is University of Kentucky fan Denise Massey, who was in town for the football game with her boyfriend Jimmy Brannon.
As of Saturday evening, Brannon said in a public Facebook post that Massey remained in critical condition at Palmetto Health Richland Hospital’s intensive care unit, but was “cautiously optimistic” about the updates the doctors had provided.
The Columbia Police Department has also identified a second shooting victim: 22-year-old Maleik Houseal. He is facing charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a weapon by a person convicted of a crime of violence in connection with the shooting, according to a news release by the Columbia Police Department. The three others arrested were John Bates, 28; Jarvis Tucker, 26; Keveas Gallman, 28 and Maleik Houseal, 22.
The shooting took place outside of the Empire Supper Club at 920 Lady St., at the corner of Park Street on Saturday around 2:10 a.m. Few who headed out to the Vista later in that evening, however, said the shootings gave them pause.
John Williams, 18, said he rarely visits the area, but was in town for a friend’s birthday.
“I just figured there would be a lot of police presence,” said the Irmo resident of his decision to visit the Vista.
John and Colleen Daniels, whose son is a freshman at the University of South Carolina, said they heard about the shootings, but it didn’t deter them from going to the game.
“We’ve always heard how safe it was,” said Colleen Daniels of the Vista. “So we were really surprised, just heartbroken for that girl from Kentucky.”
Both noted the heavy police presence, however, and said they’ll be back for the next game.
Michael Espinoza, who was visiting from Winnsboro, said he thought the shooting was a rumor. The 22-year-old was stunned when he learned it wasn’t, but said he wasn’t “going to let it ruin my night.”
Bill Kirkland, 62, echoed Espinoza’s sentiment.
“I’m careful, but I’m not going to let that make me a prisoner of my own home,” Kirkland said.
Janee Carter, 35, said when she heard of the incident, it felt surreal. But the Columbia resident said she still decided to head out on game day, since she did not expect to be out very late.
“I stepped out on a leap of faith, because in my mind, these things are going on all over the place,” Carter said. “Just trying to be aware of my surroundings and trying to stay with people that care about me.”
Michelle Maddox, however, said the shooting was “pretty terrifying.”
“We always come down here, and it never seemed like a threatening crowd,” said the 40-year-old Irmo resident. “It’s pretty scary.”
Maddox said she was apprehensive initially about visiting Saturday night, “but what are the chances that it’s going to happen again?”
Cynthia Roldán: @CynthiaRoldan