Crime & Courts

Columbia murder suspect captured more than 700 miles away from shooting, police say

Sheriff to gun offenders: ‘We are going to put a target on them’

Columbia Chief Holbrook and Richland Sheriff Lott are focusing on prolific gun crime offenders to get firearms off the streets of Columbia.
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Columbia Chief Holbrook and Richland Sheriff Lott are focusing on prolific gun crime offenders to get firearms off the streets of Columbia.

Less than a week after a man was killed at a Columbia home, a suspect was taken into custody.

The murder suspect was arrested more than 700 miles away from the Richland County residence where he’s accused of fatally shooting a 25-year-old, the Columbia Police Department said.

Four days after the Friday shooting in the 7300 block of Patterson Road, 36-year-old James Hanton was captured in Buffalo, New York, police said in a news release.

Police said it was just before 4:30 a.m. when officers responded to the home near the intersection of Garners Ferry Road and Interstate 77.

They found Michael Brice outside of the residence suffering from gunshot wounds to the upper body, according to the news release.

Brice died at the scene of the shooting, police said.

After escaping South Carolina, Hanton was tracked down in western New York state by members of the Buffalo Police Department and U.S. Marshals, according to the release.

Hanton is being held in the Erie County Holding Center and will be charged with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime when he is extradited back to Columbia, police said.

Information on what led to the shooting was not available, but police said Hanton and Brice were acquaintances who had been arguing.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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