Richland County Sheriff's Department officials now say that one of the two individuals found shot to death at the Copper Beech apartment complex Tuesday night, may have been seen the day before they were killed.
Initial reports indicated that Diamoney Greene, 20, and Brandon Early, 21, were killed several days before they were found, but Lt. Curtis Wilson of the sheriff's department said Greene was reported to have been seen on Monday.
Wilson also said that further investigation into the incident confirmed Early and Greene were involved in a relationship.
The two young people found shot to death Tuesday at the Copper Beech apartments south of downtown Columbia died in an apparent murder-suicide, according to the Richland County Coroner’s Office.
The coroner released the identity of the man and woman and said they had been dead since about Saturday or Sunday.
Gary Watts said Greene suffered a single gunshot wound to the head. He said Greene lived at the Copper Beech apartment complex, roughly about a mile south of Williams-Brice Stadium and popular with USC students.
Watts said Early, of Goose Creek, in Berkeley County, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Watts did not, nor did anyone else, say the two had been in a romantic relationship. Copper Beach neighbors said they didn’t know them. Family members declined to comment.
Greene was studying criminology and criminal justice at the University of South Carolina, according to a student directory. She had transferred from S.C. State University, where she was a cheerleader, said Tamara Hughes, S.C. State’s interim vice president of student affairs. 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 that counseling and support services are being made available for the students and faculty at the university.
The State newspaper learned through a SLED background check that Early was arrested in October 2011 in Bonneau – in Berkeley County near Lake Moultrie. He was charged with one count of third-degree assault and battery and one count of disturbing schools.
He was arrested again in May 2012 and charged with two counts of violating a town ordinance and a concealed weapon carrying offense.
Deputies were sent to Copper Beach’s apartment block 2100 a little before 7 p.m. Tuesday, sheriff’s deputy and spokesman Curtis 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, Wilson said.
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.
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 further.