Skip to main content

3 teenagers were fatally shot in South Carolina, and a schoolmate has been arrested


Two people showed up at an abandoned house where four teenagers were hanging out and opened fire, killing three of them and wounding the fourth in an escalation of an old quibble over a burglary, authorities said Monday in Columbia, South Carolina.

A 17-year-old Eau Claire High School student was arrested on three counts of murder, one of attempted murder and possessing a weapon during a violent crime, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Monday at a news conference. Officials are still looking for "some other people," he said.

The teenagers who were killed also attended Eau Claire High School, according to a statement from Craig Witherspoon, the district superintendent. The lone survivor attended a nearby middle school.

The district provided additional counseling and security at the high school Monday in response to the "unimaginable tragedy," which Witherspoon decried as "senseless gun violence."

Sheriff's deputies responded to the shooting in Columbia, the state capital, just after 2 p.m. Sunday, the sheriff's department said.

After the two shooters opened fire at the house, they followed the victims as they fled to the backyard and continued firing, according to a redacted incident report. It was part of a "beef" that Lott said began two years ago with a burglary.

Three victims were 16 and 17 years old and died at the hospital, and the fourth victim, who is 14, was released, the sheriff's department said. The Richland County Coroner's office identified the deceased as JaKobe Fanning, Caleb Wise and Dre'von Riley.

The sheriff would not say how the weapons were obtained. But, he said, too many Columbia gunowners leave their firearms in cars, where they are easily stolen. The city experienced 100 vehicle break-ins this past weekend, Lott said.

Lott said he held the news conference to address "something that seems to be recurring" in Columbia and nationwide.

Nine people ages 16 to 20 were injured in a park shooting this spring at an event involving students from Columbia-area high schools, officials noted.

Witherspoon and other elected officials called for more out-of-school programming by churches, schools and governments. While the vast majority of young residents do not commit crimes like the weekend slaying, they said, these events should not be normalized. Richland County Councilmember Gretchen Barron said lawmakers cannot legislate "good behavior" and "healthy choices."

"We need everybody in the village that's standing behind me and the village that's out there listening to this," Lott said. "We need to do more. This proves that we haven't done enough." Top Stories


OPINION Advice on dealing with 'quiet hiring' in the workplace

In a column for, personal finance writer Christopher Liew tackles 'quiet hiring' -- a term referring to companies that quietly hire from their own talent pool rather than look elsewhere -- and outlines some tips for employees on how to take advantage of the practice.

Stay Connected