COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Columbia police arrested a person of interest in the shooting death of a 37-year-old man over the weekend at Finlay Park.
Gene Autrey Morris, Jr. is charged with unlawful possession of a pistol. Morris, who was initially a person of interest in the case, was arrested late Tuesday afternoon after an extensive interview process.
Police say 37-year-old Laron Martin of West Columbia died early Sunday morning after being shot in the upper body. Police say Martin and Morris, Jr. got into an argument before the shooting happened. Police also said that Martin was verbally harassing two women in the park just before the shooting.
"Investigators believe that Morris was called by one of the females to come to the location," police said in a press release Tuesday night. "After the phone call and before Morris went to the park, he's accused of going to his residence to get a firearm. Morris then willingly brought the firearm to the park without a valid concealed weapons permit."
In their quest to locate Morris, Jr., CPD issued a BOLO about the crime and the suspect's vehicle internally and to other law enforcement agencies. A CPD patrol officer found Morris at a Bentley Court apartment overnight along with the vehicle police believe he used to flee the crime scene.
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