South Carolina

Chester boy, 15, arrested by Rock Hill cops in shooting of 16-year-old

A 15-year-old boy is charged with trying to kill another teen in a street shooting that happened at a busy intersection near downtown Chester.

A second teen also is charged with being an accessory to the shooting after the crime.

The Chester juvenile, whose name has not been released, is charged with attempted murder, pointing and presenting a gun, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime for the shooting on March 6 after officers in York County located him, said Chester Police Department Chief Eric Williams.

It remains unclear if prosecutors will seek to try the 15-year-old as a suspect, although South Carolina law shows that the suspect is eligible to be prosecuted as an adult. No decision has been made as police and prosecutors plan to meet to discuss the case, said Williams and 6th Circuit Deputy Solicitor Candice Lively.

Under state law, prosecutors can seek to try a juvenile 14 or 15 years old charged with a crime that carries more than 15 years for a conviction as an adult. Attempted murder carries up to 30 years for a conviction.

The violent crime and anti-gang unit of the Rock Hill Police Department captured the 15-year-old suspect Tuesday after a six-day manhunt, police said. The State Law Enforcement Division also was involved in the investigation and arrest, Williams said.

The suspect will be transferred to South Carolina’s Department of Juvenile Justice. Suspects younger than age 17 are kept at juvenile detention in South Carolina, officials said.

The victim, 16, survived the shooting at the intersection of Starnes and Floyd Streets in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Chester.

A second suspect whom police say aided the shooter after the crime also is in custody. Antwoine Simpson, 18, also of Chester, was charged March 8 with accessory to murder after the crime, Williams said.

Simpson is being held at the Chester County jail under a $10,000 bond.

Chester city police officers and Chester County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded around 5 p.m. March 6 to multiple calls of shots fired on Starnes Street. The teen victim had left the shooting scene when officers arrived, then found him at Chester Regional Medical Center, Williams said.

The arrest of a teen 16 or younger in a shooting is the second in just over a week in York and Chester counties. Police charged adults with roles in the aftermath of each crime.

Rock Hill police gang officers arrested the Chester juvenile for the shooting in Chester on March 4. Williams, the Chester police chief, said he did not know if there was a connection between the Chester shooting March 6 and the Rock Hill double murder on Feb. 26 that also occurred in a residential neighborhood during the day.

The Chester suspect’s connection to Rock Hill is unclear. Rock Hill is 20 miles north of Chester. Williams, the Chester chief, did not say there was a specific gang connection to the Chester shooting that links the cities or the crimes.

Williams said generally there is a carry-over between Chester and Rock Hill crimes because the cities are so close together, and that at times suspects in criminal activity frequent both cities.

“This was a case with several agencies working together that resulted in a swift result,” Williams said. “Our arm is longer when we work together on these cases. We are working against the same opposition.”

Rock Hill police Capt. Mark Bollinger said he did not have information on whether the Chester and Rock Hill shootings from Feb. 26 and March 6 might be connected.

“We picked up the Chester suspect because he was in Rock Hill but Chester is handling the investigation,” Bollinger said.

On March 4, Rock Hill police charged Sam Saadiq Robinson, 16, for killing two men in a car on Chestnut Street on Feb. 26.

Robinson was arrested in Charlotte after a manhunt in both South Carolina and North Carolina after the afternoon shooting in a residential neighborhood. Robinson remains in the Mecklenburg County jail pending extradition back to South Carolina.

Robinson is being charged as an adult and faces as much as 60 years in prison to life if convicted of two counts of murder.

Robinson’s mother was charged for obstruction of justice after she was accused of misleading police during the investigation into the killing of Malik McCullough, 23, and Zuinquarius McCrorey, 20.

Police in Chester and Rock Hill continue to investigate how the teens were able to get possession of the guns used in both shootings.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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