Four people have been arrested in connection with the Saturday shooting at the Vista that left eight injured, at least one in critical condition.
Charges were filed against John Bates, 28; Jarvis Tucker, 26; Keveas Gallman, 28 and Maleik Houseal, 22; according to a news release by the Columbia Police Department.
Bates is facing seven counts of attempted murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and possession of a weapon by a person convicted of a violent crime.
Tucker is facing charges for accessory after the fact. Gallman was charged with one count of attempted murder, unlawful possession of a pistol and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.
Houseal was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a weapon by a person convicted of a crime of violence. Houseal was injured in the shooting, according to the news release. He is still being treated at the hospital, the release stated.
Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said multiple rounds of gunfire rang out shortly after 2:10 a.m. on Saturday outside the Empire Supper Club at 920 Lady St., at the corner of Park Street.
It was not a random or drive-by shooting, Holbrook said.
Four men and four women, ranging in age from 22 to 52, were injured, with their conditions ranging from stable to critical as of around 10 a.m. Some were from Columbia, some from neighboring counties, and one from out of state, Holbrook said.
One was a Kentucky football fan who was in town for Saturday’s game against the University of South Carolina. She was shot in the face, according to Facebook posts by her boyfriend, Jimmy Brannon.
University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides said he was unable to speak with Brannon or visit Massey when he stopped by the hospital earlier on Saturday. He did say, however, that Massey was receiving the “absolute best care” that could be provided.
Empire Supper Club bills itself as an upscale nightclub. According to the club’s website, the club is open only to people ages 25 and up on Friday nights and “no hardcore rap music” is played on those nights. It sits across a parking lot from the Art Bar, a longtime, popular Vista bar, and not far from Panera Bread and Pearlz Oyster Bar. The shooting happened just after closing time for most downtown bars and clubs.
Bakari Sellers, an attorney representing Empire owner Joe Stovall, said Stovall and the club are cooperating with police and, in fact, helped locate one of the weapons believed to be involved in the shooting.
When asked for a reaction to Holbrook’s decision to suspend the club’s business license, Sellers said, “It is the only club closed. If a shooting happened outside Subway, would he shut down the Subway?”
A hearing will be held to revoke Stovall’s license permanently, Sellers said.
Staff writer Rachael Lowe contributed to this story.