Bond was denied Wednesday for two Sumter men who have ties to rival gang activity that led to a shooting that left two dead and at least three injured early Sunday.
Ellquin Carban Williams, 18, was wanted for discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle in connection to a previous incident in the city, according to Sumter Police Department Public Information Officer Tonyia McGirt. He was also charged with unlawful carry of a weapon, which he was in possession of during the 1 a.m. Sunday shooting at the Hop In (Sunoco) convenience store, and a probation violation.
Devante Antonio Wilson, 21, was wanted for first-degree attempted armed robbery and discharging a firearm into a dwelling, first-degree assault and battery and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. He was also charged with a probation violation.
Williams was taken into custody Monday night without incident, and Wilson turned himself in Tuesday.
Authorities think a rap video titled “Boost the Murder Rate,” which was posted by a rapper who goes by the name Tae Blocka on social media, featured one of the men now in custody, and that robberies targeting rival gangs led to the shooting on Sunday. The incident claimed the lives of two 30-year-olds, Gregory Middleton and Michael Rogers.
A 26-year-old, Diontrae Epps, was injured in the shooting and remains in a Columbia-area hospital in stable condition, and two others suffered injuries but have been treated and released.
Officers are still searching for Keyonte Markees McGee, 27, of Camellia Street in Sumter, who also has ties to rival gangs. He is wanted on a family court bench warrant.
Williams, Wilson and McGee were the only ones named Monday in connection to the gangs thought to be involved in the Sunday shooting, but the police department has now charged another man who was reportedly at the scene of the shooting.
Risheen Gervais Rich, 29, of Marion Lane, is charged with unlawful carry of a firearm, a probation violation and contempt of family court. He is being held at the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center pending bond.
None of these men have been named as suspects in the actual shooting. They have been arrested on unrelated warrants and wanted for questioning.
Police are continuing to offer an up to $5,000 cash reward for information that can lead to arrests in the shooting.
Officers are continuing efforts to identify individuals associated with these gangs as well.
Thursday shooting puts school on lockdown
The Sumter Police Department said two men who were involved in Sunday’s gang-related gas station incident were also at the scene of a shooting Thursday in the Robney Drive area when officers arrived. Crosswell Drive Elementary School was put on lockdown during the incident.
One person was injured and is being treated at a local hospital after shots were fired before 1:30 p.m., McGirt said.
“All exterior doors were secured, and the students were locked safely in their classrooms with their teachers,” said Shelly Galloway, Sumter School District spokeswoman. “The students and staff followed the lockdown procedures as they had practiced in their drills.”
She said students were dismissed with assistance from law enforcement after a “thorough investigation of the area.”
Police said the individual(s) involved in the incident fled in a silver four-door Chevrolet sedan toward Oswego Road.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers by logging onto www.P3tips.com and clicking on the “Submit a New Tip” tab or by downloading the new P3 Tips app for Apple and Android devices.
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