Crime & Courts

10 attempted murder charges for 3 young teens connected to car break-ins, police say

A group of teenagers have been charged in a crime spree that included shots fired into a house with a 2-year-old inside and 47 auto break-ins, police say.

Three teens, including two 14-year-olds, face multiple charges that include attempted murder. The teenagers aren’t named in police reports because of their age.

The spree began on April 24 around 6:15 p.m. when one of the 14-year-olds, wielding a gun, held up another teenager and a 9-year-old on the 2300 block of Marshall St. near the Booker Washington Heights and Colonial Heights neighborhoods, police said. The victims ran and both 14-year-olds teens shot at them, according to a report.

Columbia Police Department’s new ShotSpotter technology, which detects gunfire through acoustic sensors and relays the location back to department headquarters, alerted police, Holbrook said.

Policed charged both teens with attempted murder and weapon possession and one of the teens with armed robbery.

About an hour later, one of the same teens joined a 16-year-old and fired at a home on Benedict Street in the Greenview neighborhood of north Columbia, police said. Multiple neighbors called 911 to say they heard gunfire. A 31-year-old woman, a teenager, a 12-year-old and a 2-year-old were inside the house. None were injured but the home was damaged, according to the report.

Police charged the 16-year-old with four counts of attempted murder and weapon possession. One of the 14-year-olds was charged with four more counts of attempted murder.

The teens’ crime spree picked up again in the early morning hours of May 9, police allege.

Some residents of the Windsor Lakes Apartments in northeast Columbia woke up to find their vehicles rifled through Thursday, police said. Richland County Sheriff’s Department deputies investigated and found 47 cars broken into. The break-ins happened around 3 a.m. Richland deputies arrested and charged the three teens with break-ins. A 17-year-old, Dashan King, also was charged in the car break-ins.

The 16-year-old and one of his younger partners were also charged with conspiracy and credit card theft in connection with the break-ins.

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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.