Two men were identified Saturday as the victims of a fatal double shooting Thursday in the Olympia neighborhood, near downtown Columbia.
Also Saturday, a sheriff’s spokesman explained why deputies didn’t enter the house and find the bodies until Friday.
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, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said.
Officers responded Friday morning to the home at 643-A Kentucky St. and found the 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.
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Deputies searched the exterior of the house Thursday night but, finding no evidence of a forced entry or crime, did not go inside, Wilson said. The person who lived there was not answering the door, he said.
It was not until a tip was received that a shooting had occurred that police had probable cause to enter the home on Friday morning, Wilson said.
Deputies say Flores shot both victims in the upper body Thursday after a verbal altercation over drugs. Wilson said the suspects and victims were acquaintances.
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.
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.