The Richland County Coroner’s Office has released the identities of the two individuals found shot to death Tuesday at the Copper Beech apartments, a complex roughly a mile south of Williams-Brice Stadium that is popular with USC students.
Gary Watts said Diamoney Greene, 20, suffered a single gunshot wound to the head and died at the scene. Greene was studying criminology and criminal justice at the University of South Carolina and lived at the Copper Beech apartment complex.
Watts also said Brandon Early, 21, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and also was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to Watts, the incident happened on Saturday or Sunday this past weekend in what appears to be a murder-suicide incident.
Greene was a transfer student to the university and this was her first semester on campus, according to USC spokesman Wes Hickman.
USC President Harris Pastides issued a statement Wednesday showing support for Greene and her family.
“Patricia and I are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Diamoney Greene, a member of our Carolina family. Our heartfelt prayers are with Diamoney’s family and friends during this difficult time,” Pastides said.
Pastides also said in the statement that counseling and support services are being made available for the student’s and faculty at the university.
A SLED background check revealed Early was arrested in Bonneau – in Berkeley County near Lake Moultrie – in October 2011 for one count of third degree assault and battery and one count of disturbing schools. He was arrested again in May 2012 for two counts of violation of town ordinance and a carry-concealed weapon offense.
Deputies were sent to apartment block 2100 a little before 7 p.m., Wilson said. The bodies were discovered by a roommate after he returned to the apartment but couldn’t open the front door. He went to a side window to look in and called police to report what he saw.
Around 9 p.m., the coroner took the bodies out of what appeared to be a four-bedroom apartment.
Copper Beech Townhomes is south of downtown Columbia, between Shop and Bluff roads, near Interstate 77. The complex is marketed to USC students and runs a shuttle to campus and back.
Anna Pishko, 19, and Michael Sensenig, 19, have both lived at Copper Beech since August, when the fall semester began at USC.
When asked about safety at the complex, Sensenig said, “My neighbor was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight, but 10 minutes after it happened, a bunch of police caught (the suspect) at a gas station.”
Pishko said whatever happened is sad but has nothing to do with Copper Beech. “There have been gunshots fired here, but it’s not Copper Beech’s fault,” Pishko said.
Jason Chudoba, a Copper Beech apartments spokesman, said in a statement that management is “working in full cooperation with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department as it investigates the death of two individuals who were discovered in an apartment unit last evening ... Our thoughts are with the individuals and their families.”
Chudoba declined to comment any further about the incident Wednesday.