The man accused of killing two Hispanic men on July 30 is a 20-year Army veteran with five overseas deployments, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said.
Leslie Todd Parvin, 39, is in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on two murder charges. He was arrested last week after the sheriff's department traced a vehicle description and partial license plate number to him, Lott said.
Parvin allegedly shot and killed Edgar Lopez of Woodfield Road and Pablo Gutierrez-Guzman of Percival Road. Lopez was an immigrant from Guatemala, and Gutierrez-Guzman was from Mexico. All three were at a small gathering in a backyard on Woodfield Road when an argument erupted.
Parvin allegedly pulled a handgun from his waistband and shot the others, Lott said. Lopez and Gutierrez-Guzman were not armed, he said.
Witnesses at the scene did not know Parvin. However, they gave a detailed description of two of his tattoos, and a description of his van with a partial license plate number.
Sheriff's investigators got a list of the license tags of all green Kia vans registered in Louisiana and then began reading through the list to find tags with the partial number, Lott said. Investigators crossed reference their shortened list with other databases and found a Columbia address for Parvin, Lott said.
"When we googled his address the vehicle was in the picture on the Google map," Lott said. "Once things started rolling they just fell into place."
Lott said investigators had not established a motive for the killing. Parvin, who asked for an attorney immediately after his arrest, has not talked with sheriff's deputies.
Friends and family of the victims attended an afternoon press conference where Lott shared details of the arrest. They told reporters they were relieved someone is in jail for the killings. -- Noelle Phillips