4 males charged in Vista Shooting investigation, police looking for vehicle
Four men are facing charges in connection with the shooting which wounded eight people in the Vista early Saturday morning.
Police are still looking for a vehicle of interest in connection with the shooting; a black, 2006 BMW 3-Series with South Carolina plate NLB-507.
The suspects are
§ John Bates, Jr., 28, charged with seven counts of attempted murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and possession of a weapon by a person convicted of a violent crime.
§ Jarvis Tucker, 26, accessory after the fact.
§ Keveas Gallman, 28, one Count of attempted murder, unlawful possession of a pistol, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
§ Maleik Houseal, 22, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a crime of violence.
Bates, Tucker and Gallmar were arrested by Columbia police Saturday and were in custody Saturday night.
Houseal was injured during the shooting and hospitalized. He will remain under police guard until his release, at which time he will be arrested.
Further charges in the case are forthcoming, according to Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook.
Four men and four women were injured in the shooting. All were taken to a local hospital, and their conditions ranged from critical to stable Saturday night.
Holbrook said the shooting originated with two groups fighting each other at the Empire Supper Club at 920 Lady St. The shots, fired around 2 a.m., were heard by nearby Columbia police officers, who were on the scene within seconds. One officer applied a tourniquet to the leg of one gunshot victim and stayed with the victim until EMS arrived.
Holbrook stressed that the shooting was an intentional act with innocent people caught in the crossfire, not a random act. He added that initial rumors of a drive-by shooting were untrue.
The Empire Supper Club was shut down Saturday after Holbrook formally declared it a public nuisance and revoked its business license, acting under Section 8-31 (c) 5 of the City of Columbia’s Code of Ordinances. Holbrook said there had been at least one previous shooting incident at the business, and said he was 100 percent confident that the community would be safer with it closed.
“We have got to recognize that gun crime is real and cannot be tolerated, Holbrook said Saturday. “It’s not just a police issue. It is everyone’s issue. We have to take a holistic approach as a community; violent crime prevention, education, legislation, harsher penalties and zero tolerance. We need people who see something to say something. Become engaged and a partner with us in preventing and solving crimes.”
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin issued a statement on the shooting Saturday, saying “We are thankful for our men and women in law enforcement. Our businesses are open and we are not going to let some outside troublemakers define who we are to our guests. We continue to pray for all of the innocent souls and families hurt last night.”