Sheriff Lott calls for end of gun violence after several teens arrested in deadly shootings
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Richland County Sheriff’s Department announced the arrests of 10 men, mostly teenagers, involved in four homicides in 2022.
The shootings range from January to April. One took place on Hickory Hill Road in Eastover, while three others happened in Columbia.
All of the men who were arrested in connection to the homicides range from 17 to 24-years-old. The victims in these cases range from 17 to 81-years-old.
The most recent shooting happened on April 17, just a day after several people were injured in a shooting at Columbiana Mall.
It happened at 8100 Garners Ferry Road at 12:30 p.m. Deputies found 17-year-old Desmond Wilson shot dead in the breezeway of the apartment building.
17-year-old Jonathan Paul Johnson, Jr., is charged with murder. Sheriff Lott said during the conference that Johnson, Jr. will be charged as an adult.
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Investigators are still searching for another suspect in this case. If you have any information, call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
Lott also announced additional arrests in connection to a shooting that happened on January 10, when deputies responded to a home on Hickory Hill Road in Eastover after a welfare check led to the discovery of a man’s body. The man was later identified as Lewis Jenerette, 81. Jenerette had been shot in the upper body.
An investigation led to the first arrest of Jadon Harper, 18, who was charged with burglary, murder and grand larceny.
Later, it was determined that Harper and four other teens broke into the Jenerette’s home, killing him and stealing several items from his house, including his car, according to RCSD.
Andre Arthur, 18, Chance Jones, 19, Durya Perry, 19, and Trenton Morris, 19 were arrested and charged with murder and burglary.
Morris, known on the street as “Cuttabutt” is also charged in a second murder.
At around 5:30 p.m. on April 16, deputies were called to 1500 Longwood Road to reports of a shooting. At the scene, they found a man with gunshot wounds to his upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The victim was later identified as Khalief Haltiwanger, 19.
An investigation revealed that Haltiwanger got out of a car at the location of the shooting and was shot by other people in the car, according to deputies.
On Thursday, Lott said that three men face charges of murder, armed robbery and possession of a weapon during a violent crime in Haltiwanger’s death: Trenton “Cuttabutt” Morris, 19, Dedrick Garrick, 23, and Narelius Stephens, 24, according to Lott.
The fourth shooting happened on February 19 at 1601 Longcreek Drive just after midnight, according to deputies.
At the scene, deputies found a teen with multiple gunshot wounds laying outside a building. The victim was later identified as Saveon Robinson, 19.
RCSD announced on Thursday that three men have been arrested in connection with Robinson’s death: Jayun Harrison, 19, Winston Lobban, 20, and Jamaris Quattlebaum, 19, according to Lott.
Quattlebaum is facing additional charges, including attempted murder, stemming from a shooting that happened on March 29 in the 1500 block of St. Andrews Road.
These arrests follow a similar pattern of something that Lott has touched on many times: young people with guns committing violent crimes.
“We’ve have to get tough,” he said. “We have to get tough on the ones that need to be tough on.”
Lott said that all of these young men had criminal records prior to these charges.
“It’s sad,” he said. “So very sad to see young people just throw their lives away.”
RCSD has a message for those committing these violent crimes.
“If you shoot, we’re going to get you,” he said. “These team of investigators that are standing behind these cameras, they’re going to get you. We’re going to catch you. It doesn’t matter how hard you try to hide what you’ve done, it doesn’t matter how far you run, we’re going to find you and we’re going to put you in jail.”
Lott says the courts need to hold people like these men accountable faster, put them in jail and keep them there.
“I hope the criminal justice system that we’ve got does their job because right now it’s cracked,” he said. “It’s cracked. It’s not working. Because we’ve got too many of these repeat offenders back out here in our community who are terrorizing our communities and they’re shooting people and shooting each other and we’ve got to stop it.”
Lott said to solve the youth gun violence problem, it’s going to take more than just a law enforcement, courts or legislative response. It will also fall on families to change the hearts and minds of young people.
There have been 47 people shot in Richland County in 2022, 12 of which have died.
Through this point in 2021, 40 people had been shot, and 11 had died.
RCSD said that it solved all of its 32 murders last year, and intends to do the same this year. Currently, there is one unsolved murder.
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