Crime & Courts

South Carolina Crime Watch: Capital City Shootout, High-Speed Chase

One dead, one in custody …

Officers with the Columbia, South Carolina police department are investigating a shooting which led to a high-speed chase, numerous collisions and the crash of a getaway vehicle in an upscale residential enclave approximately four miles west of the state capital.

One person was killed in the shooting, while several individuals – including at least one police officer – were injured during the chase, a pursuit which took police from one side of town to the other. A single suspect, 28-year-old Westley Tyler Gross, is in custody in the aftermath of the incident.

Gross has been charged with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Prior to the dramatic events which led to the latest charges against him, Gross was out on bond after being charged with breach of peace and pointing and presenting a firearm last February. Those charges were – and are – still pending. He was released from custody last year on a $10,000 surety bond set by judge Mildred Rita Metts.

Additional charges related to Monday’s incident are forthcoming …

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The saga began shortly before 3:00 p.m. EST when Columbia police were dispatched to a car dealership at 180 Greystone Boulevard. The dealership – owned by JT Gandolfo – is located approximately three miles northwest of the capital.

According to the office of Richland County coroner Naida Rutherford, 39-year-old Graham Pope succumbed to wounds sustained during the shooting at the car dealership.

Following the shooting, Gross “drove away from the scene, taking officers on a police pursuit through downtown.”

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Officers of the Columbia, S.C. police department arrest 28-year-old Westley Gross following a shooting, high-speed chase and car crash in downtown Columbia, S.C. on Monday, April 8, 2024. (Columbia Police)

During this pursuit, a collision occurred at the intersection of North Main and Prescott which involved a Columbia police cruiser and two other vehicles. That collision resulted in multiple injuries, including one police officer who sustained an injury to their leg.

All of the victims of that crash were taken to local hospitals. There is no update as of this writing on the status of their injuries.

“The suspect is accused of hitting multiple vehicles during his attempted getaway,” city police wrote on X.

The crash that concluded this spasm of violence took place at around 3:30 p.m. EDT on Monday (April 8, 2024) at 2205 Shady Lane – a residence located in the affluent Lake Katharine neighborhood adjacent to Interstate 77 near Forest Acres, S.C. and Fort Jackson.

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Investigations into collision at North Main and the crash on Shady Lane will be led by the S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP).

This media outlet has already submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to both the Columbia police department and the SCHP for any and all available information related to the apprehension of Gross and the nascent investigation into the crimes of which he stands accused.

Gross is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn detention center in Columbia, S.C. as he awaits a bond hearing on the latest charges filed against him. As with anyone accused of committing any crime, he is considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system. His case will be prosecuted by the office of S.C. fifth circuit solicitor Byron Gipson.

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Not everyone was thrilled with the fact officers pursued Gross into a residential neighborhood.

Patrick Scott of Columbia, S.C. wrote on X that it was “totally irresponsible” for law enforcement to permit the chase to “perpetuate into that neighborhood like it did,” noting there was a “100 percent chance there were kids on bikes on Shady Lane.”

“You know who the perp is,” Scott added. “Please consider the public’s safety when pursuing.”

BANNER VIA: R&R MEDIA

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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6 comments

Use Common Sense April 8, 2024 at 5:58 pm

The guy shot someone, with the potential for a fatality. Patrick Scott whines that police were irresponsible for pursuing him. Would Patrick have thought them responsible if they had stopped the chase and the bad guy had shot or kidnapped one of those kids on bicycles in his neighborhood?

People need to teach their children, of whatever age, about situational awareness. Bicycles and pedestrians are secondary users of the road with automobiles being primary. Teach your kids that if they hear motors roaring and/or sirens coming into their neighborhood, to get off of the road and as far as practically possible from it as there may be a situation similar to this headed their way.

Reply
RC April 9, 2024 at 4:54 pm

Turns out a pregnant woman was killed in an accident with a police car that was in pursuit. What did she did wrong?

Reply
Use Common Sense April 9, 2024 at 5:24 pm

They haven’t said yet, but is it possible that she pulled into the path of the police car?

Reply
Nanker Phelge April 8, 2024 at 9:39 pm

“an upscale residential enclave approximately four miles west of the state capital.”

Will is still learning east from west…

CLOSE THE BORDERS!!! MIGRANT CRIME!!! Oh, wait…

Reply
River Top fan April 9, 2024 at 8:43 pm

Patrick Scott, they were chasing a murderer. You can’t just let a murderer go because you know who they are. Think about what you are going to say before you speak.

Reply
Sam April 16, 2024 at 1:09 pm

Why was this criminal let out on bond? Who was the judge? Why isn’t he/she being investigated and charged? He/ She should be held accountable as well for the murder of Mr. Pope as well as causing the death of a mother, her unborn child, and injuring other people because of actions. This murderer murdered
Mr. Pope in cold blood!! So Mr. Scott think before you speak!!

Reply

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