Person of interest identified in connection with Finlay Park murder

Person of interest identified in connection with Finlay Park murder

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Columbia police have made progress in an effort to identify a suspect in a rare fatal shooting in the city's Finlay Park.

Chief Skip Holbrook says the development follows interviews with several witnesses at or near the scene of the shooting Saturday night. However, a description of their person of interest or their name has not been revealed.

Instead, police say they have interviewed a person of interest and continue to interview new witnesses who have come forward.

Police say 37-year-old Laron Martin of West Columbia died early Sunday morning after being shot in the upper body.

The incident unfolded near the upper-level parking lot close to the Governor's Hill development.

A woman who identified herself only as "Sarah" told us the victim was involved in a dispute with a gun-wielding man wearing white clothes and shoes. The witness says Martin was shouting "shoot me" shortly before the gunman fired multiple times. She says Martin did not appear to have a weapon.

"All I just heard, shouting like, he told him to 'shoot me' and he just shot him," Sarah said.

Holbrook says the incident marks the only homicide in the park in at least five years. He says crime numbers for the Finlay Park area do not indicate an increase in criminal activity compared to 2016.

CPD has also tweeted that they've interviewed a person of interest in this shooting.

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