Michael Juan Smith (Image: Richland County Sheriff's Dept.)
Columbia, SC (WLTX)-- An 18-year USC student is currently in critical condition and a man is in custody after a shooting early Sunday morning in Columbia's Five Points.
Columbia police have arrested 20-year-old Michael Juan Smith. He's charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a violent felony, unlawful carrying of a pistol, and possession of a stolen pistol.
UPDATE: A judge denied bond for the suspect in court Monday morning.
The incident took place around 2:30 a.m. Police say Smith had an altercation earlier that evening that led up to the shooting.
Officers were still on patrol in Five Points when they heard gunshots and ran to the threat. Officers say Smith was caught fleeing the scene.
"This is a senseless crime" says Ruben Santiago, Interim Police Chief. "Here is a young lady who was standing with a large group of people when she gets shot and then collapses in front of her friends. Now she is fighting for her life in the hospital. The shooter has no respect for human life and will face the consequences. Our prayers are with victim and her family."
Another man was charged with disorderly conduct in connection with the incident.
USC President Harris Pastides issued the following statement:
"I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn that a random act of gun violence has harmed one of our students in the Five Points area early this morning. The university is working closely with our student and her family to provide all available resources. On behalf of the entire Carolina family, Patricia and I offer our thoughts and prayers for healing and recovery and for the safety and well-being of all of our students."
The Five Points Association issued the following statement:
"The Five Points community is deeply saddened by the news of the innocent bystander who was critically injured in last night's shooting. This incident is a tragedy that should have never happened. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family during this difficult time."
"We are appreciative of the Columbia Police Department's quick apprehension of the suspect. The Five Points community is thankful to Interim Chief Ruben Santiago, City Manager Teresa Wilson and Mayor Steve Benjamin for their calls and commitment to addressing the root of this problem."