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Columbia man sentenced for having gun during shooting

Mitchell was identified by his distinctive facial tattoos, officers say.
Mitchell was identified by his distinctive facial tattoos, officers say.(Columbia Police Department)
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 12:55 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 1:49 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Columbia man was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Acting United States Attorney M. Rhett DeHart says Leonard Earl Mitchell, 30, was sentenced on Tuesday by a United States District Judge.

Officials say evidence presented in court showed that, on May 23, 2020, after receiving reports of shots fired on Two Notch Road, officers from the City of Columbia Police Department located nine 9mm spent shell casings in a business’ parking lot. While reviewing the surveillance footage, officers say they saw that an unknown person fire off two rounds in the direction of Mitchell, as he was exiting the business.

Officers say Mitchell sought cover near a car in the parking lot, then fired a 9mm ten times at a car traveling northbound on Two Notch Road. After the shooting incident, Mitchell reportedly fled from the parking lot.

A City of Columbia police officer identified Mitchell as the person involved in the shooting from a prior encounter with him, as well as from Mitchell’s distinctive facial tattoos.

Mitchell was arrested on June 4, 2020 in his home on other warrants. At the time of his arrest, officers say he had a 9mm pistol on him that ballistically matched the nine shell casings found in the business parking lot.

Mitchell has previously been convicted of several felony offenses including failure to stop for blue lights and siren, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, assault and battery 2nd degree, distribution of marijuana, assault and battery, 1st degree, possession of methamphetamine/cocaine, and carrying or concealing a weapon by inmates. Officials say as a result of these previous convictions, Mitchell is prohibited from possessing a firearm and/or ammunition.

There is no parole in the federal system, according to officials.

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