Neighborhood rivalries led to the shooting of an unidentified 15-year-old at the State Fair last Saturday, authorities said Thursday.
That explanation came as Richland County Magistrate Michelle Branch-Howard denied bond for 19-year-old Joseph Leon Anderson Jr., who is charged in the shooting.
The shooting followed an argument between Anderson and the victim, assistant solicitor Stephanie Taylor told the magistrate. Taylor did not say what the argument was about, but she described Anderson as “a hothead.”
The dispute stemmed from an ongoing feud between individuals who live in the North Main-Monticello Road area versus individuals who live in the Bluff Road area. The argument was “about whose neighborhood is better, but I can’t say it was gang-related,” Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Curtis Wilson said.
Anderson, who lives in north Columbia, was arrested Tuesday by deputies and remains in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. He faces several charges, including attempted murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, pointing and presenting a firearm, and breach of peace.
Anderson also faces a breach-of-peace charge related to an arrest last month, records show. He was released from the Department of Juvenile Justice in August, Sheriff Leon Lott said.
Deputies aren’t saying how the weapon used in the shooting got onto the fairgrounds. Fair-goers pass through metal detectors and have bags searched. “We are still baffled as to how it (the weapon) got into the State Fairgrounds,” said Simone Martin, attorney for the shooting victim’s family. “Someone needs to be held accountable – it really is pure negligence.”
Fair officials have promised to review security procedures to see if any changes are warranted.
The shooting victim is at home recovering after being shot in the lower body, said family members who attended the bond hearing but declined to be identified.
Tim Flach: 803-771-8483