Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Columbia police say they have arrested four suspects in connection with Saturday morning's shooting in the Vista that wounded eight people.
Arrest warrants have been issued for the following male suspects:
• John Bates, Junior (age 28) Seven Counts of Attempted Murder, Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Violent Crime and Possession of a Weapon by a Person Convicted of a Violent Crime.
• Jarvis Tucker (age 26) Accessory After the Fact
• Keveas Gallman (age 28) One Count of Attempted Murder, Unlawful Possession of a Pistol, Possession of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime.
• Maleik Houseal, age 22 - Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Crime of Violence. Houseal was injured during the shooting incident and hospitalized. He will remain under police guard until his release at which time he will be arrested and processed for the aforementioned charges.
Further charges in this case are forthcoming.
Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said Saturday afternoon that they believe the shooting was two opposing parties that got into a gunfight.
At around 2:12 a.m. Saturday, officers got a call of shots fired near the intersection of Lady and Park Street outside the Empire Supper Club. Holbrook said the shots came outside the business toward the back.
A total of eight people were hurt: four women and four men. The victims range in age from 22 to 52, with most of them being in their 20s.
One of the victims was a Kentucky fan who'd come to Columbia because of the USC game She was struck in the neck, and is one of those in critical condition.
Several of the victims were not the intended targets of the gunmen. At this point, Holbrook said he is not sure if gangs are involved.
"This is a bad situation we have got to recognize that gun crime can't be tolerated, Holbrook said. "It's not just a police issue. We have to take a hold of this as a community and do something about it."
In addition to the announcement of the arrests, Columbia police also announced new details on a vehicle of interest. It's a 2006 black BWM 3-Series with SC license plate NLB-507.
Holbrook said he has declared the site of the shooting, Empire Supper Club, a nuisance, and have revoked its business license. The business is now padlocked.
Related Coverage: Vista Nightclub Shut Down After Shooting
Holbrook said they have had problems with the business in the past. He said the owner was at the club when the shooting happened.
It had been open for 18 months.
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin issued a statement, saying this type of violence wouldn't be tolerated.
"We are thankful for our men and women in law enforcement. Our businesses are open, and we are not going to let some outside troublemakers define who we are to our guests. We continue to pray for all of the innocent souls and families hurt last night.” Related: Read More of Mayor Benjamin's Statement
Anyone with information that can help in this case should contact Crimestoppers in any of the following ways:
CALL toll-free, 888-CRIME-SC.
TEXT to CRIMES (274637), and mark the beginning of the message with “TIPSC,” followed by the tip information.
LOG onto: www.midlandscrimestoppers.com, and click on the red “Submit a tip” tab.
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