Jernigan was a 2007 AC Flora graduate and attended Clemson University from 2007-2009. Records show he was arrested and charged several drug violations and a gun charge in Pickens County in July of 2009.
"When I heard AK-47, I was just like 'no way, Blake Jernigan, wrong name, absolutely not,'" said Logan Grayden, who grew up with Jernigan and went to AC Flora with him.
"He really was such a good guy," said Grayden. "It could happen to the best of people, and he just got on the wrong path and it led to his death."
Grayden says that path got off to a straight start. She says he was known for being popular and for his kind family. He grew up in Forest Acres and went to school in Clemson, but that was cut short.
After he was arrested in the Upstate for weapon charges and cocaine charges, he left Clemson and moved back to Columbia.
Grayden saw him Saturday. "His eyes were closed, he was mellow with literally no emotion," said Grayden. "His laugh used to be the best laugh. I just remember loving it, but he just wasn't there."
"If I would've known last Saturday would've been the last time I'd see him, I would've said so much more," added Grayden.
Even though Grayden says she'll remember him for his heart, she knows others will not because of what happened.
"This story, it's not who he was," said Grayden. "It's who he was in past couple years since he went to college, but I just wish they knew he's a great guy, he really is."
At least one daycare in the area opened late because of the investigation. Police asked the child development center at Shandon Presbyterian Church to stay closed until 9:00 a.m., according to an assistant director there.
Hand Middle School opened as scheduled. Car riders were not affected, but buses did not drop students off on the King Street side of the school, according to a Richland One spokesperson.
Police still have some streets in the immediate area closed because of the investigation. CPD has requested SLED's assistance to investigate the circumstances that led to Jernigan's death.
Officer Broder graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy with 12 other City of Columbia recruits at the beginning of April. Scott says Broder is eager to "get back out on the streets and do his job to keep the community safe."
He was expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon.
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