Three high schoolers killed in shooting, suspect arrested

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC – A second suspect has been apprehended in connection with a shooting that resulted in the death of three high school students and left a middle school student injured, according to Sheriff Leon Lott of Richland County. The suspect, 17-year-old Karlos Damon Gibson, was arrested late Monday afternoon and is facing three charges of murder and one of attempted murder.

Earlier in the day, another 17-year-old, Jakeem Griffin, was arrested on identical charges. Both teenagers are implicated in the fatal shooting of Jakobe Fanning, Dre’Von Riley, and Caleb Wise, all aged between 16 and 17, and the wounding of a 14-year-old.

The incident occurred around 2 p.m. Sunday in the 200 block of Saddletrail Road, a neighborhood just outside of Columbia. Upon arrival, deputies discovered four individuals with gunshot wounds. They were immediately transported to a local hospital, where three of them succumbed to their injuries. The 14-year-old victim, who was shot in the lower body, has since been discharged.

Sheriff Lott described the motive behind the shooting as a trivial dispute that had escalated over the years. He expressed his frustration and disbelief at the senseless violence, questioning why young people resort to such drastic measures.

The victims were reportedly sitting outside a house when the suspects approached and opened fire, resulting in a chaotic scene. Sheriff Lott also indicated that further arrests may be forthcoming.

Community leaders, including Richland County Councilwoman Gretchen Barron, joined Sheriff Lott in calling for action to address the ongoing issues in the district. Barron highlighted the need for community involvement and financial support to continue the initiatives started by the late State Sen. John Scott.

Richland School District One confirmed that all three deceased victims were students at Eau Claire High School. Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon expressed his grief over the tragic loss and assured that counseling and additional security measures are in place at the school.