‘So much hurt:’ Family of 20-year-old shot, killed at Lake Shore Village Apartments seeks justice

Updated: Aug. 2, 2019 at 5:58 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Columbia Police Department continues to investigate a weekend shooting that killed 20-year-old Emmitt Hart.

The shooting happened shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday outside of the Lake Shore Village Apartments on Garners Ferry Road.

Hart comes from a big loving family, he was one of six kids. The family described him as a smart, fun-loving, kind young man who loved to sing. They said they still can’t believe he is gone.

“I’m just in a dream because I just saw my son before I went to work. He was moving, singing, early in the morning telling me he loved me and this is it. That was it,” Wanda Penny-Hinton, Emmitt’s mom said. “It was just so much hurt because he don’t do nothing to nobody. Emmitt was a child who don’t even have enemies. He’s always trying to help somebody.”

Police said Hart was found with gunshot wounds outside the Lake Shore Village Apartments Saturday night.

His mother said Emmitt did not live at Lake Shore Village Apartments. He was there Saturday visiting a friend. It was a place she said she hoped he’d never go.

“It’s horrible there. There’s always something happening there. He said he wasn’t going back anymore. He just didn’t have a chance not to go back anymore. It happened that same day. He said that Saturday. He didn’t make it back after he said that,” Penny-Hinton said.

“I tell him all the time not to go over there, but I know how it is when you’re 20 and that’s where your friends are I used to tell him all the time you know don’t go over there, but that’s where his friends were at,” Nicole Hart, Emmitt’s sister said.

As police continue to investigate who pulled the trigger, the family is asking for someone to have the courage to come forward.

“I really want someone to find out who did this,” Penny-Hinton said. “If they care about Emmitt, they’ll bring this person to justice because they wouldn’t want their family member like this.”

Columbia Police said they do not have any significant leads in the case.

When referring to the complex, Chief Skip Holbrook with the Columbia Police Department said, “it’s a complete disaster.” Data pulled from August 2017 to June 2019 at the apartment complex show the following:

  • Homicide - 1 in 2018, 2 in 2019
  • Aggravated assaults - 1 in 2017, 7 in 2018, 6 in 2019
  • Burglary – 2 in 2017, 12 in 2018, 8 in 2019
  • Auto-Breaking – 3 in 2017, 6 in 2018, 1 in 2019
  • Motor vehicle theft – 4 in 2017, 5 in 2018, 6 in 2019

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crimestoppers by calling 1-888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372) or visiting www.midlandscrimestoppers.com or www.p3tips.com and click on the “submit a tip” tab. Your identity will be kept anonymous, and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

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