Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin says "troublemakers" won't define his city, hours after a shooting in one of the city's top entertainment districts sent eight people to the hospital.
Benjamin issued a statement Saturday afternoon.
"On behalf of the entire city family, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin denounces the violence that took place in the early hours of Saturday, Sept. 16 in one of Columbia’s most popular entertainment districts," he wrote.
Around 2 a.m. Saturday, Columbia police say a fight between two different groups erupted outside Empire Supper Club" on Lady Street. There was an exchange of gunfire, and when it was all over, four women and four men were hit by bullets.
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Some received minor injuries, but others are in critical condition. Included in the group was a Kentucky fan visiting from out of town, who was hit in the neck.
“Our city is alive and vibrant today with Carolina Football, the Greek Festival, the Soda City Market and the Jubilee Festival,” said Mayor Benjamin. "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.”
"The Columbia Police Department (CPD), Richland County Sheriff's Department, Federal and state law enforcement agencies continue to investigate this matter. All of those responsible for these crimes will be brought to justice."
Columbia Police declared Empire Supper Club, the place where the shooting took place, as a public nuisance, and got the place shut down.