Opening arguments are scheduled to begin today in a Richland County murder trial in which a mother of five was shot to death in 2007 at the Gable Oaks apartments.
The trial is expected to shine a light on the wanton gun killings that strike terror into Columbia residents.
"I hope justice will prevail," said Sampson Pringle, president of the Belmont Community Association, the North Main Street neighborhood where the killing took place.
"This case still brings tears to my eyes," Pringle said. "It was the holiday season, and five kids were left motherless."
Brandon Clarence Cook, 20, is charged with murder in the killing of Torsheena Davis, 32, a resident of the Gable Oaks complex.
Davis had moved from New York to bring up her children "where things were not so fast," Pringle said.
In the early morning hours of Dec. 11, 2007, Davis was in her apartment when a single bullet fired from outside struck her in the chest and killed her.
She was found dead in her living room. Four of her five children, who were in their bedrooms at the time of the shooting, were not injured. The fifth child was out of town.
One of the children told police he heard a loud bang and his mother cry out, "Oh, my God!" When he went to the living room, he round her lying face down, according to a police report.
Police said Cook was looking to retaliate for a fight earlier that night with a man in the area. Cook later admitted firing at Davis's apartment, but said the woman was not his intended target.
In all, Cook fired up to seven shots from a handgun outside the second-floor apartment in Building 17 where Davis lived, police said.
Cook was arrested soon after the shooting.
The children who were at home when Davis was killed were three sons, then 12, 10 and 4 years old, and a 7-year-old daughter. A 14-year-old daughter was visiting relatives in New York.
Cook faces a possible life sentence if found guilty.