A nightclub shooting on Broad River Road that happened about three hours after a similar one in the Vista on Saturday that injured eight people, might be related, authorities said Sunday.
“We’re still trying to connect the dots,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told The State newspaper.
Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook agreed, telling the newspaper that investigators are pursuing evidence in both cases.
“We know that one person in the Vista shooting was involved in the Vault shooting,” Holbrook said.
The two law enforcement agencies are working together on the cases.
The shooting about 5 a.m. at Vault, 3106 Broad River Road, left one person injured, Lott said. The club, which advertises itself as a gentleman’s-style club, also was the scene of a July 1 shooting in the parking lot.
The sheriff’s department’s crime lab is doing ballistics analysis in an attempt to tie weapons to both Saturday shootings, Lott and Holbrook said.
“We’re working on that,” Holbrook said.
The 2 a.m. shooting at the Empire Supper Club, 920 Lady St., in Columbia’s Vista left eight people injured, some critically. One was a young woman in town for Saturday’s home season opener between the University of Kentucky and the USC Gamecocks.
Lott said Sunday he believes the people shot outside the Empire Club will survive their injuries. “I think everyone has been stabilized,” the sheriff said. Holbrook said some victims still face surgery.
Four men and four women, ranging in age from 22 to 52, were hurt in the Vista shooting.
Bond was denied for three of the four men charged in the Empire Club shooting. All four people charged are being held in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
Charged so far in the Vista shooting, which Columbia police say was not a drive-by or random act, are John Bates, 28; Keveas Gallman, 28; Jarvis Tucker, 26 and Maleik Houseal, 22.
Bates, who police say was convicted previously of a violent crime, is accused of seven counts of attempted murder and other related charges.
Gallman is charged with one count of attempted murder and related charges.
Houseal, also previously convicted of a violent crime, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and other related crimes, police said. He was injured in the shooting and was taken to a hospital.
Tucker is accused of accessory after the fact of the shooting.
Empire Club owner Joseph Brando Stovall, 37, is not a target of the investigation, Holbrook said Sunday. Yet the police department has declared the club a public nuisance and shuttered it.
“There’s been no evidence that the owner was involved,” the chief said.