Columbia police are now looking for three “persons of interest” in connection with Sunday's shooting of a University of South Carolina student who was an innocent bystander in Five Points.
Police spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons says the three men seen on surveillance video may have gotten into an argument with shooting suspect Michael Smith, or they may have witnessed the gunfire.
“If the face doesn't really stand out, we're hoping that somebody might recognize their clothing,” Timmons says.
“Or, if the three people are all together, somebody might recognize one of the suspects whose face is really, really visible and say, 'Hey, that's John Smith. He hangs with these two other guys that I know.' Any information related to these males will be of great value to Columbia Police Department investigators.”
18-year-old USC freshman Martha Childress is paralyzed from the waist down after a stray bullet lodged near her spine while she was waiting for a taxi near the Five Points fountain.
Police say Smith is seen on surveillance video firing what turned out to be a stolen gun.
In addition to him, police have arrested 17-year-old Ryan Ellison in the case. He's charged with public disorderly conduct.
Meanwhile, Childress' family has helped arrange a forum on campus where students can discuss safety for the Five Points entertainment district.
Her relatives say something good should come from Sunday's shooting, which caused USC President Harris Pastides to call Five Points unsafe for students during late night and early morning hours.
Monday's forum will be at the Russell House student center at 4 p.m.
And the Five Points Merchants Association invited the public to gather at 7 p.m. tonight at the Five Points fountain as a sign of solidarity.