One arrested, second man sought in 17-year-old CA Johnson student's murder

Published: Mar. 16, 2015 at 10:26 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 26, 2015 at 10:26 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Columbia police have arrested a person charged with the murder of a 17-year-old CA Johnson student Sunday.

CPD arrested 19-year-old Jahmir Taylor overnight on a murder charge and warrants were issued for a second suspect, who has been identified as 19-year-old Jerimiah Pough.

Columbia police say the shooting that killed a 17-year-old Eric Washington stemmed from an earlier incident involving several others on Sunday.

Chief Skip Holbrook held a news conference Monday morning to discuss the "senseless act of violence" that killed Washington, an Army National Guard enrollee and CA Johnson High School senior.

Washington was fatally shot in the head at TS Martin Park on Germany Street around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Holbrook said the shooting stemmed from an altercation earlier in the day and ended with two men opening fire on Washington. Washington, according to Holbrook, was attempting to take cover when he was struck in the head. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died from his wound.

"Assist us with bringing someone to justice, helping this family grieve, and bring some closure, but also bring some attention to a senseless act of violence that took the life of a good 17-year-old kid," Holbrook said. "This kind of stuff has got to stop."

Classmates who knew Eric say he was a positive influence for his peers.

"Eric was a real good person," said Eric friend, Kenny. "Like, we would all gather together around 2 o'clock every Sunday and go up to Drew Wellness Center up the street and play basketball and then CA Johnson would open their gym for people to play basketball and we'd come up here and play. He was an overall role model for everybody, especially me."

"When he would have on his ROTC uniform, he would be like 'You all need to get on ROTC. You need to sign up when y'all get out so you can do something for your country," said Deshawn, another friend of Kenny.

Holbrook did not have any further details on the incident, such as identifying the suspects or what the altercation between the parties was about, but the victim's mother, Pamela Dinkins, did make a plea for justice at the podium.

Dinkins said it was senseless that she had to ask for help to find her son's killer.

As for Washington's affiliation with CA Johnson High School, Richland One officials say he was a senior at the school, and that a crisis team is currently providing assistance to students affected by the teen's death.

"It is especially tragic when a young life is senselessly cut short," a statement from the district said. "Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go out to Eric's family."

Richland One is offering assistance and counseling to students and staff at CA Johnson High School.

If you have any information that can help investigators, call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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