COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Columbia Police Department is investigating a shooting that left one man dead at a Chinese restaurant in Columbia.
According to CPD, the incident happened at China Kitchen on Forest Drive between an armed robbery suspect and an employee around 11 p.m. Thursday. The suspect was shot and killed during the incident after an employee acted in self- defense, deputies said.
When officers arrived on scene, they found a man on the ground with a gunshot wound to the upper body. After speaking with several witnesses, including restaurant patrons, officers learned that the male was identified as an armed robbery suspect.
The suspect was described as a male wearing all black, including a hoodie and a bandanna over his face. He’s accused of entering the store and demanding money from employees at gunpoint.
Initially, the suspect is accused of victimizing two female employees while demanding money from the register. The victims immediately ran to safety at another location inside of the restaurant.
Another female employee heard the commotion at the front of the store and reported that the suspect also pointed a gun at her to demand money.
She complied with his demands and while she was opening the register to hand over the cash, she was able to grab his gun. During the struggle between the victim and suspect, a co-worker/relative came to the front of the store, saw the incident, and used his handgun to shoot the suspect.
According to the Richland County Coroner Gary Watts, the suspect later died at Palmetto Health Hospital. His identity has not yet been released.
No charges will be filed against the employee since he acted in self-defense, officers said.
Officers with the University of South Carolina’s (USC) Division of Law Enforcement and Safety, and Allen University assisted CPD with the investigation.