November 17, 2013

UPDATE: Columbia Police looking for man wanted for attempted murder after weekend of gun violence

Columbia Police Department investigators are looking for a man suspected of shooting another after an argument turned deadly Saturday.

The shooting was part of a weekend of violence as six people were shot, two fatally, in four shooting incidents in less than 24 hours in Columbia and Richland County.

Investigators have issued arrest warrants for Jamere Haile, 25, suspected of shooting a man around 5 p.m. Saturday after an argument broke out in the 3500 block of Bailey Street, Columbia Police Department Spokeswoman officer Jennifer Timmons said Sunday.

The victim, who has not been identified at this time, was shot in the back, but his injuries are believed to be non-life-threatening, Timmons said. Both men were among a group of people standing outside believed to have been involved in the argument.

An earlier shooting incident in the 2500 block of Bailey Street, which left one dead, had also resulted after an argument turned violent, officials said.

That incident took the life of Willie Gilmore, 22, of Head Street, who was found unresponsive on the ground shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday in the neighborhood between West Beltline Blvd. and Farrow Road.

Preliminary information shows the victim was involved in the argument moments before the shooting, interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago said Saturday.

Gilmore was taken to a local hospital where he later died.

In another incident that took place four miles away near the Greenview neighborhood Friday, three people were shot, Santiago said.

All were believed to be outside of a residence in the 700 block of Martha Street around 9 p.m. when shots were fired. One victim was found in front of a home. That man, identified later by Richland County Coroner Gary Watts as Nathaniel McKelvin III, 21, of Cindy Drive in Columbia, died at the scene of gunshot wounds to the upper body, Watts said.

Two other males were taken to local hospitals, Santiago said. Their conditions were not known Sunday night.

Police investigators are trying to determine whether any of the shootings are connected or gang-related, Timmons said.

Once arrested, Haile is expected to be charged with attempted murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and unlawful carrying of a firearm, she said.

Haile’s last known address was at a residence on Belvedere Drive, north of West Beltline Blvd. near Two-Notch Road. He should be considered armed and dangerous, Timmons said.

No arrests had been made early Sunday night.

Mayor Steve Benjamin, in a statement Saturday, encouraged anyone with information about the shootings to come forward, to help police “find those responsible for these crimes and bring them to justice.”

Meanwhile, Richland County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a shooting that occurred late Friday night in the Lower Richland town of Eastover, at Dodamead and Joyner streets, said Sgt. Curtis Wilson.

Deputies responding to an aggravated assault call around 11:30 p.m. found a victim shot multiple times in the lower body, Wilson said. The victim was in serious condition late Saturday, Wilson said.

No arrests had been made Saturday night, Wilson said. An investigation is continuing.

Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at (888) CRIME-SC.

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