The man charged in a South Carolina mass shooting that injured 14 people on Saturday has already been let out of jail on just $25,000 bond and will await further court dates under a modified version of house arrest, allowing him to go to work but not to revisit the scene of the carnage.
22-year-old Jewayne M. Price was officially arrested by Columbia, South Carolina Police the same day as the shooting after being detained as an initial suspect. Price has been charged with the Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol and law enforcement says that they expect more charges to be forthcoming. According to a press release from the Columbia Police Department, the mass shooting that injured 14 people between the ages of 15 and 73 at the Columbiana Centre was an “isolated” and “gang-related” incident stemming from an ongoing gang conflict.
The shooting, South Carolina police say, involved “at least three suspects” and ballistic reports show that victims were struck by bullets from 2 different firearms.
Having quickly secured public counsel, Jewayne Price is being represented in court by a Democrat member of the South Carolina’s State House of Representatives, Minority Leader Todd Rutherford. Rutherford claims that his client acted in self-defense, firing shots after running into armed adversaries from Facebook.
“He did not do anything to bring about the trouble yesterday,” Rutherford reportedly said in court during Price’s bond hearing.
“People want to make it seem like he’s an animal, but he’s a good kid,” said Twana Ivery, Price’s mother, after the hearing that saw him sprung from jail.
In a press release made after Price’s arrest and subsequent release, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, whose jurisdiction includes much of the Columbia metro area, blasted what he called the “catch-and-release” law enforcement tactics of the local judiciary. Lott confirmed online speculation in saying that his deputies have arrested Price for violent crime in the past.
In 2018, he was charged as an accessory before the fact in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old. Though that case generated much local media buzz, just four years later, Price was already back on street and involved with even more violent crime.
“Sheriff Leon Lott has spoken publicly about his concerns with what he calls a ‘catch and release’ system,” the press release reads. “‘We catch people, they serve a little bit of time, they get out and they get right back doing what they normally do and that’s commit crimes…The criminal justice system needs to do better.’”
Could it be the same Jewayne Marquise Price who was arrested in a shooting death of a 17-year-old in May, 2018?
— 𝙴𝚍𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍 𝙺. 𝙿𝚢𝚛𝚘𝚜 (@EdKPyros) April 17, 2022