Former University of South Carolina running back Kenny Miles – a big contributor to the Gamecocks’ 2009, 2011 and 2012 victories over arch-rival Clemson – was reportedly shot in Columbia, S.C. today.

According to a tweet from SportsTalk SC, the tailback “was shot in the arm on or near Broad River Road Monday afternoon.”

“After he was shot, Miles entered a business and the people working there attempted to help to stop the bleeding,” the SportsTalk SC report continues. “Miles initially asked that no one call the police, but the person or persons helping him insisted they call 9-11 because of the gunshot. Police arrived at the scene and collected evidence from Miles’ car.”

SportsTalk SC originally said Miles’ injury was “not believed to be life threatening,” although the law enforcement agency which responded to the shooting disputed that contention.

Sergeant Curtis Wilson of the Richland County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Department confirmed to FITS that Miles was shot in the “upper body” and had been transported to a local hospital with what he referred to as “life-threatening injuries.”

Wilson referred to the initial incident as a “robbery” and said Miles had been shot by the perpetrator of the crime.

According to local television station WLTX TV 19 (CBS – Columbia, S.C.), the robber “may have been trying to take money and a USC championship ring from Miles.”

Another source familiar with the incident said that drugs were involved – but did not elaborate.

Whatever happened, as of this writing, Miles was in critical condition at Palmetto Health Richland Hospital.

FITS is awaiting comment from the University, although we suspect they – like everyone else – will await further details regarding the shooting before issuing a statement.

Miles – a 23-year-old Lawrenceville, Georgia native – rushed for 1,341 yards and four touchdowns during his career at South Carolina. He also had 416 receiving yards and caught one touchdown pass.

Miles’ biggest game for South Carolina came in 2009 when he ran for 114 yards on just 17 carries against Clemson – leading the Gamecocks to a 34-17 win (the first of four consecutive victories in the series for head coach Steve Spurrier’s team). He also scored a pair of touchdowns against Nebraska in the 2012 Capital One Bowl.

Spurrier has described Miles as a “model student athlete.”

After graduating with a degree in criminal justice, Miles took a job in the S.C. Attorney General’s office. His coworkers there describe him as a hard worker and a “good guy.”

“The best,” one told us, adding they were “sick to (their) stomach” over the shooting.

UPDATE: USC has just issued a statement on the Miles’ shooting. The school’s team physician says Miles suffered a “soft tissue injury” but that the injury is not serious and he is likely to be released from the hospital on Tuesday.

UPDATE II: Oh boy … looks like we’ve got a mystery building.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography