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Judge denies bond for Amari Smith, third suspect in SC mall shooting

Amari Smith is facing multiple charges in connection with the shooting.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A judge has denied bond for Amari Sincere-Jamal Smith, the third suspect in the shooting at the Columbiana Mall last Saturday that left over a dozen people injured. 

Smith appeared in court Thursday afternoon, hours after he turned himself in. He's facing nine counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, attempted murder, and unlawful carry of a handgun, the same charges as the other two suspects. 

In denying bond, Judge Jessica Mangum said she agreed with prosecutors that he was a flight risk and a danger to the community. 

Smith spoke only briefly, answering a few questions from the judge. He did say that he waited to turn himself over to authorities until he had secured a lawyer.

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Officers had previously arrested Marquise Robinson and Jewayne Price in the case. They face the same charges as Smith. Robinson did appear after Smith where he was denied bond on a weapons charge. 

During Thursday's hearing, prosecutors laid out details of what they say happened on Saturday during the melee. They say the three were shooting at each other while people were standing around them, and in some cases, between them. 

Among those hit by gunfire were  a pregnant woman, teenagers, and a 73-year-old woman, the state says. The 73-year-old suffered "life-altering" injuries according to the prosecutor. 

Though they did not speak, a teenager girl and a man who was shopping with his wife who were wounded by gunfire were in court.

The incident happened around 2 p.m. Saturday, the men are accused of opening fire inside the crowded shopping center. A total of nine people were hit by gunfire with another six injured in the scramble of people running for safety. 

In this latest hearing, the prosecutor said surveillance video shows people ducking to avoid being hit by gunfire, a father shielding his two small children from bullets, and a teen who ran into the path of the gun battle to pull her mother to safety. 

The prosecutor said the gun they claim Smith was using has not been recovered but they say there are social media posts of him showing off a handgun with a large magazine. 

RELATED: Judge denies bond for two of the suspects in Columbiana Centre mall shooting, third still at large

During a bond hearing Tuesday for Robinson and Smith, prosecutors said they believe all three suspects appeared to be firing their weapons during the shootout, based on surveillance video. The prosecutor added that at least a dozen rounds were fired.

Holbrook said before he believes the shooting was not random and that the people involved knew each other and the incident likely sprang out of an ongoing conflict. The prosecutor said their issues with each other date back to 2018. 

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