Richland County coroner Gary Watts on Saturday identified the two men killed in a double shooting Thursday in Columbia's Olympia neighborhood.
William Todd Watlington Jr., 27, of Carlen Avenue in Lexington and Joshua Samuel Cullifer, 22, of Kentucky Street in Olympia died as a result of gunshot wounds, Watts said.
Two people have been arrested.
Carlos Flores, 17, is charged with two counts of murder, and a 15-year-old girl is charged with accessory after the fact.
Officers responded Friday morning to a home at 643-A Kentucky St. and found two men shot dead in the lower level of the house, Lt. Curtis Wilson, a spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, said Friday.
Police say Flores shot both victims in the upper body early Thursday morning after a verbal altercation over drugs. Wilson said the suspects and victims were acquaintances.
Homicide is a rare occurrence for the Olympia community, which is largely populated with single-family and rental homes and young residents, including many college students.
Wilson said police can’t confirm yet if the victims lived in the house where the bodies were found. Police are waiting for the coroner to officially identify the bodies.
Pete Carr, who lives in the apartment above where the victims were shot, said that one of the two trucks in the driveway belongs to the man who lives there and the other to a friend who is often at the house. He said the man had lived there a little less than a year and often had guests at his house.
Several people whom Wilson identified as family members of one of the victims arrived at the scene Friday afternoon before the bodies were removed from the home, consoling one another and talking with police.
Neighbors described the area, on the westernmost side of the community, backing up to the area’s quarry, as “sketchy” and sometimes uncomfortable. But they said they were surprised to see a crime like this.
“It’s really scary that it could happen just across the street from you,” said Clayton Goette, whose friends, including Carr, live in the neighborhood. “It makes you uncomfortable. But I’m just glad that the people I know are all right.”
Goette was visiting friends in the house across the street Thursday night when, around 10:30 p.m., they saw an officer shining a light into the house where the crime occurred, he said. The officer told them something had happened at the house and the person who lived there was not answering the door, Goette said.
Carr was not home at the time. His friends called him to tell him what they saw, and he spent the night with them across the street.
“Nothing like this has ever happened,” Carr said Friday. “I’m pretty freaked out about it.”
The suspects were arrested Thursday night in Aiken County after their vehicle was identified driving east on I-20, slamming into other vehicles on the interstate, according to the sheriff’s department.
Flores, who is being held in Aiken, is facing additional charges in Aiken County and will be transported to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County, according to the sheriff’s department. The 15-year-old girl’s case will be sent to Family Court.