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Monday, October 21, 2013

COLUMBIA, SC - Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago encourages citizens to call CRIMESTOPPERS if they can help identify or locate three males who may have information regarding last weekend’s Five Points shooting.

The males, who were seen on surveillance video, may have gotten into an argument with shooting suspect Michael Juan Smith.

The men may have witnessed the crime and may be able to provide valuable information to CPD.

The shooting occurred shortly before 2:30 a.m. at the 700 block of Harden Street.

An 18-year-old girl USC student was shot and according to her family, is paralyzed as a result. She was NOT the intended target.

More than ten Officers were still on patrol in Five Points when they heard gunshots and ran to the threat.

While running on Harden Street, an officer located the suspect, Michael Juan Smith (DOB: 11-24-1992). He was intercepted at Pops Pizza while allegedly running away from the scene.

Upon a lawful search, the officer located the gun believed to have been used to commit the crime. It was reported stolen out of Richland County's jurisdiction.

Smith is charged with Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature, Possession of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Violent Felony, Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol, and Possession of a Stolen Pistol.

Chief Santiago says, "Five Points is a vibrant hospitality district and one that is always thriving. When criminals go there or anywhere in the city to do their dirty work, it’s

personal for me. There are always two officers on every street corner in Five Points, and additional officers on foot and vehicle patrol. We continuously review ways to protect the City. We will continue to work with law enforcement partners such as SLED to stop the violence. We are proactive."

Officers reviewed surveillance video of the incident and Smith is seen on video committing the crime.

Also, Ryan Ellison (DOB: 1-31-1996) is charged with Public Disorderly Conduct.

Chief Santiago encourages citizens with information about this incident to call, text or submit online, their anonymous tip to 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.

If you, or someone you know, have any information regarding any crime, you are encouraged to contact Crimestoppers. You could earn a reward up to $1,000.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crimestoppers by calling 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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Crimestoppers does not take information on crimes here or via standard email because we cannot guarantee your anonymity. Any information sent to us through comments will NOT be acted upon and will be removed. Please call 1-888-CRIME-SC, or use our online tip form to give information anonymously to Crimestoppers.

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