Forest Acres police officer Greg Alia’s fatal struggle with a suspect in Richland Mall went to the ground before ending in gunfire, Richland County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Curtis Wilson said Thursday.
Jarvis Hall, 34, was then Tased by at least one of the two other officers with Alia, said Wilson, who said he was getting his information from officers at the scene. The officers then detained Hall until other officers arrived.
Few other details are known concerning Alia’s fatal shooting Wednesday morning.
Alia, 32, was a seven-year veteran of the Forest Acres Police Department. He and the two other officers were responding to a call about a suspicious person outside the mall just before 8 a.m.
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After Alia and an officer he was training approached the person to question him, the suspect fled into the mall, officials have said. The officers then chased the suspect into the mall and down a corridor, Wilson said. The ensuing struggle left Alia dead.
Hall, of Eastover, is accused of fatally shooting Alia with a stolen Glock .40-caliber handgun, according to arrest warrants. Hall was arrested Wednesday by the State Law Enforcement Division and charged with murder and possession of a firearm during a violent crime.
Hall on Thursday waived his bond hearing, which was set for Thursday afternoon at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. The next step is likely to be an arraignment hearing, where he will be formally notified of his charges.
There is no dash cam or body cam video showing the incident, according to a news release from the S.C. State Law Enforcement Divsion. The release said SLED will provide no more details about the shooting at this time.
Among the questions left unanswered are:
▪ How long the suspect was questioned by officers before dashing into the mall?
▪ Exactly how and where Alia was shot?
▪ Whether Alia was wearing a bulletproof vest or other protective gear?
▪ Whether officers knew the suspect had weapons during the chase?
▪ Whether the mall was equipped with security cameras that could assist with the investigation?
Joseph Walker, Richland Mall’s general manager, referred questions from The State newspaper about whether the mall has a security camera system to SLED and the Forest Acres Police Department. A representative at Bobby’s Barber Shop in the Richland Mall told The State that SLED had advised him not to speak to reporters.
Most stores at the mall were not open at the time of the incident. Some nearby businesses, such as children’s clothing store Gymboree, did not open at all Wednesday, choosing to wait until Thursday instead.
Gov. Nikki Haley asked on Thursday that flags be flown half-staff on Saturday in Alia’s memory.
A criminal background check
From what is known of Jarvis C. Hall, who is charged with murder in the death of Forest Acres police officer Greg Alia, his previous criminal record consists of various misdemeanor crimes in the Columbia area.
In 2004, the Columbia Police Department arrested Hall for prostitution and unlawful carrying of a weapon. State Law Enforcement Division records reflect he was convicted of the misdemeanor crime of unlawful carrying of a weapon and paid a fine of $1,120.
On Aug. 30, CPD arrested Hall on two misdemeanor charges: the unlawful carrying of a weapon and failure to comply with the lawful order of a police officer.
SLED records say he didn’t show up for a Sept. 16 court date, was tried in absentia and sentenced to pay a fine of $262 fine or serve 30 days in jail. SLED records don’t indicate the status of the case.
State penal and probation officials say Hall doesn’t show up on their records.
“Our records reflect he has never been on probation, parole, youthful offender or community supervisions, “ said S.C. Probation, Pardon and Parole spokesman Peter O’Boyle, whose office handles more serious crimes with a one or more year prison sentence.
A Department of Corrections spokeswoman said, “Nothing comes up.”