Crime & Courts

Coroner identifies man shot in historic Columbia neighborhood’s park

A place where children play turned into a place of death Friday night.

A gunman shot a man at E.B. Sessions Park on Beaumont Avenue in the Booker Washington Heights neighborhood in northern Columbia, according to officials. The shooting occurred between 11 and 11:30 p.m.

Columbia police were alerted to the shooting by acoustic gunfire detection technology, the department said in a statement. Officers arrived and found the victim on the ground with a gunshot wound to the torso. Paramedics pronounced the man dead on the scene. Investigators collected ballistic evidence and interviewed residents.

Listen to our daily briefing:

An autopsy was conducted and confirmed the cause of death was the shot to the torso. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts identified the victim as 55-year-old Brantley Sutton, who lived on Northwood Street in the Earlewood community.

Authorities are still investigating.

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is set to visit Booker Washington Heights on Sunday.

Columbia Police Department asked that anyone with information about the shooting to contact Crimestoppers at 888-274-6372 or visit and click “Submit a tip.”

Related stories from The State in Columbia SC

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.