An argument on Harden Street in Columbia’s Five Points overnight left one man shot in the leg.
Police believe the shooting was not random, that it involved men who had been in a previous altercation, according to Acting Chief Melron Kelly.
Witnesses reported seeing a fight at 818 Harden St. between the victim and the alleged shooter, police said in a news release. Officers responded around 12:45 a.m. Saturday.
An acquaintance of one of the men pulled him away from the fight, witnesses said. The two ran to a parking lot across the street, got into a vehicle and tried to safely leave the scene.
The shooter then is believed to have fired several shots at the moving vehicle, hitting the victim in the leg. The driver of the car took the victim to a local hospital.
The shooting prompted University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides to issue a statement Saturday night renewing his call for more community-based safety measures in Five Points. USC freshman Martha Childress was paralyzed in an October shooting in the popular off-campus entertainment area.
"What more will it take to pick up the pace of action?" Pastides said. "Combating violence is a community problem that requires a community solution. "
After Childress was shot, he suggested making Five Points pedestrian only on busy nights, adding more police patrols and requiring all bars close at 2 a.m. Pastides said USC has made changes including adding a shuttle between campus and Five Points and bolstering the campus police force: "But we can’t patrol Five Points."
Investigators released photos of four people of interest and a vehicle allegedly involved in the early Saturday morning shooting. They are trying to determine if video surveillance cameras in Five Points captured the fight.
The 818 Harden St. address, near College Street, is home to a Rite Aid drug store. Between College and Greene streets on Harden is where the vast majority of gun-related incidents have happened in the entertainment district in the past two years, a study by The State newspaper of police incident reports has shown.
Chief Kelly encourages citizens with information about this incident to submit their anonymous tip to Crimestoppers by calling, toll-free, 888-CRIME-SC or by texting the information to CRIMES (274637) and marking the beginning of the message with “TIPSC.” Tipsters may also log onto www.midlandscrimestoppers.com, and click on the red “Submit a tip” tab.
Tipsters could earn a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.