If you witness a crime, here’s what to do
A second victim has died and two others remain hospitalized in the early morning shooting at McCary’s Bar and Grill on Bush River Road in Columbia.
Deputies received a 911 call about the shooting at about 2:15 a.m., according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. The bar is near Malfunction Junction.
Witnesses at the scene told deputies that the suspected shooter had been told Wednesday to leave the bar, a department spokesperson said.
Early Thursday morning he returned with an acquaintance. An argument ensued after he was asked to leave again and the suspect pulled a pistol and began firing indiscriminately, the spokesperson said.
“He had caused previous disturbances at the bar and had been told in the past he was not welcome to return,” sheriff’s department spokeswoman Cynthia Roldan said in a news conference.
No official trespass notice had been issued by the sheriff’s department, the suspect was told not to return by the bar owner, Roldan said.
A 29-year-old died at the scene. The three others suffered wounds to the upper body and were taken to an area hospital.
That is where a 35-year-old shooting victim died, Roldan said.
Both people who died were customers at the bar, the sheriff’s department said in an interview with The State.
The 29-year-old has been identified as Tolliver E. Wise, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said in a news release.
A 25- and 33-year-old are being treated at the hospital, and information on their condition was not available.
Three of the shooting victims were patrons, and one was an employee, according to the sheriff’s department.
“We lost a terrific young man in this battle, and McCary’s is offering their deepest condolences and prayers to this persons family as they begin to make preparations to lay their loved one to rest,” read a post on the bar’s Facebook page. “... We are very sad this morning and have shed tears for these 4 people this morning. We would also like to pray for the customers who were at our bar and had to witness this tragedy.”
A search is underway for the suspect. It is uncertain whether the suspect left the bar on foot or in a car.
Investigators are also trying to identify the shooter’s acquainance, but have not listed that person as a suspect in the crime.
Additionally, the sheriff’s department said it is investigating the bar to see if it has been a source of problems in the past.
“We would like to think of our bar as a safe and fun environment for those who enter,” the bar’s post said. “Unfortunately, that was not the case last night, at all. We hope that all of the broken hearts are healed, and that you all will always remember that McCary’s has and always will have their customers best interest at heart, and will continue to do what we have to do, to make this bar a safer environment for those who enjoy coming and being with us.”
This is the 11th homicide of the year in Richland County, down from the total of 17 at this time in 2018, Roldan said.
“We hope to close (the investigation) as soon as possible to put members of the community at ease,” Roldan said.