Man shot, killed while trying to rob Five Pts. AA meeting

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - One man is dead after a shooting in Columbia's Five Points. Police say it happened when the man tried to rob people in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

Blue lights and sirens are common in Columbia's Five Points on a Saturday night, but it's not usually because someone was killed.

"This is a very nice area, you know it's mostly college kids and all that, you never see that kind of trouble so yeah that was different," said a witness who does not want to be identified. "Yeah because I go there for meetings and from what I heard the guy went in there to rob somebody."

Police say just before 11pm Saturday 18-year-old Kayson Helms, of Edison, N.J., walked into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at the ACOA Club, pulled out a handgun and demanded money.

That's when an AA member pulled out a gun of his own and shot first.

The witness we talked to was standing right outside, and saw Helms run out of the building.

"But he only made it like a hundred feet up and collapsed," the man said.

Helms died at the hospital. He had been shot in the neck, abdomen and chest. The whole incident is alarming to those that live nearby.

"There are times where I tell myself, no, I'm not going to walk down there with my child at this point in time," says resident Andrea Richardson.

The shooting happened right in the Richardsons' backyard.

"Listening to the TV and I heard three pops in rapid succession," says Christopher Richardson.

But some people in Five Points had no idea.

"A little nervous I guess that it happened right around the corner from where we were last night, and I had no idea about it, so I didn't know that kind of threat was around this area," says Aleksas Juskys.

It's a threat people that those that go to the ACOA Club never thought they would have to deal with.

"It's the most pleasant place you can go if you're in recovery," says the witness.

Police say the person who shot Kayson Helms is not facing any charges. They say he has a valid concealed weapons permit.
The shooting remains under investigation.

Reported by Jackie Faye

Posted by Logan Smith

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