Fourth teen arrested, charged with attempted murder from April shootings

A teenager was arrested Friday and charged with attempted murder for his involvement in an armed robbery and shooting into an occupied house last month.

The Columbia Police Department fugitive team and United State’s Marshal Service arrested Savion Jaquon Smith, 17, and charged him with five counts of attempted murder and five counts of unlawful gun possession.

Authorities found him Friday at the Shores at Elders Pond Apartments on the 4500 block of Hardscrabble Road, police said in a news release.

He’s the oldest teenager charged in a series of crimes that happened on April 24.

Police say Smith, along with two 14-year-olds, shot at another teenager and a 9-year-old after one of Smith’s accomplices tried to rob the two on the 2300 block of Marshall Street near the Booker Washington Heights and Colonial Heights neighborhoods. Neither were injured.

About an hour later, Smith and one of the 14-year-olds, joined a 16-year-old and shot at a home on Benedict Street in the Greenview neighborhood of north Columbia, according to investigators. Inside the home were a 31-year-old woman, a teenager, a 12-year-old and a 2-year-old. None were injured but the home was damaged, a report said.

The Columbia Police Department’s new ShotSpotter technology, which uses acoustic sensors to pick up the sounds of shots, detected some of the gunfire.

The teenagers aren’t named because of their ages. However, South Carolina law allows people who are 17 to be prosecuted as adults for some violent crimes.

The two 14-year-olds, the 16-year-old and another 17-year-old, DaShan King, were also involved in 47 car break-ins at Windsor Lakes Apartments in northeast Columbia, according to Police Chief Skip Holbrook.

Smith has not be charged in the break-ins, according to police. Richland County Sheriff’s Department handled the break-in case.

Attempted murder carries a penalty of up to 30 years in prison. With five counts, Smith could be sentenced to 150 years. Possession of a weapon during a violent crime, which police charged Smith with three counts, carries a mandatory 5 years, potentially adding 15 years to his sentence. His other two charges, unlawful pistol possession and possession of a gun by a person under 18, could also add to any prison time.

Smith and the other teenage suspects are jailed at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

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David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.