Crime & Courts

Arrests made in shooting at Columbia bar days before man is stabbed there, sheriff says

Days after two men were arrested for their roles in a shooting at a Columbia bar, another man was stabbed at the same bar with a history of violent activity, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said.

Charges were filed against Russell Belton and Marvin Bookert for a September 15 shooting at My Place Bar and Grill, the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

The bar is in the 7700 block of Claudia Drive, which is near Columbia Place Mall and the intersection with Two Notch Road.

Less than a week after Belton, 30, and Bookert, 20, were taken into custody, a man was hospitalized with a stab wound suffered at the bar on Oct. 13, the sheriff’s department said.

The stabbing and gunfire are not related, other than both occurred at My Place, where other violent crimes have been reported in the past.

In the most recent shooting, gunfire erupted outside of the bar at about 3:30 a.m., according to the news release.

Belton was firing a pistol into the air, when Bookert heard the gunshots while he was behind a vehicle at the BP gas station across the street, the sheriff’s department said.

Also armed with a gun, Bookert returned fire and hit Belton, along with several vehicles before he drove off in a beige Ford Crown Victoria, according to the release.

Bookert was arrested Oct. 5 on charges of attempted murder, use of a weapon during a violent crime, unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of malicious injury to private property, according to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center database. Bond was only set on the two malicious injury charges and he remains behind bars, jail records show.

On Oct. 7, Belton turned himself in and was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and aggravated breach of peace, the sheriff’s department said. He is not being held at the detention center, according to jail records.

Less than a month after the shooting, the stabbing was reported at the bar on Sunday at 3:30 a.m., according to a news release.

Interviewed at an area hospital, the man said he was stabbed by an unknown person, per the release.

He did not provide a description of the suspect or a possible motive, only telling deputies he asked his girlfriend to take him to the hospital when he realized he had been stabbed, the sheriff’s department said.

Anyone with information about the stabbing is asked to call 911 or report it to CrimeStoppers at 888-CRIME-SC or submit an online tip.

It was the latest violent act reported at My Place.

In August 2017, one man was hospitalized with injuries after he was shot following an argument at the Columbia bar, The State reported.

Months earlier, a security officer was stabbed at the bar after a fight broke out in February, according to The State. Although the security guard was stabbed multiple times, the injuries were not life threatening.


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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State focused on breaking news, public safety and trending news. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.