Crime & Courts

Six Arrested, One Sought In Midlands Apartment Shooting

Over 80 shots fired in 22 seconds …

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Six individuals have been charged in connection with a shooting at the Villages at Lakeshore housing complex in Columbia, South Carolina, according to Richland County sheriff Leon Lott.

At about 8:00 p.m. EST on May 28, 2024, deputies of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) were dispatched to the aforementioned neighborhood after multiple individuals opened fire at the community pool on Freshwater Drive.

In the immediate aftermath, one juvenile was arrested, a 16-year-old was hospitalized, and over 80 shell casings across multiple calibers were recovered. Investigators were eventually provided with home surveillance footage of the indiscriminate assault. 

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Come Friday (June 14, 2024), Lott announced the arrest of six individuals ranging anywhere from 17 to 22 years old. He furthermore divulged that every suspect was arrested while in possession of illegally obtained firearms unrelated to the Villages at Lakeshore shooting. 

Of interest? Seven firearms have since been recovered and ballistically linked to three shootings in Fairfield County and one shooting in Richland County. Investigators furthermore purported that last month’s shooting could be affiliated with an unspecified murder from 2023.

While the extent of their involvement remains unclear, Donrae Frierson, 17, Treshawn Keller, 17, Patrick Oliver, 17, Tramell Richardson, 19, Kaelon Dixon, 19 and Michael Abara, 21, were arrested and charged between the day of the shooting and and June 12.

Throughout 2023, both Richardson and Abra were granted surety bonds by Magistrate Patience Van Ellis following weapons and assault charges. Richardson was furthermore granted a $5,000 surety bond by Magistrate Benjamin Byrd following drug manufacturing charges.

“Again, I stand up here and talk about young people with guns,” said Lott on Friday. “The shooting at the pool was over something previous … somebody had a chain pulled off their neck. As a result of that, you have different ‘teams’ get in a shootout.”

During Friday’s press conference, Lott accused three alphabetized “teams” of perpetrating the Villages at Lakeshore shooting. Questioned further, the sheriff told this media outlet that everyone’s affiliations would remain unspecified until RCSD apprehended more suspects.

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Richland County Sheriff's Department
Wanted poster for Joshua House. (Richland County Sheriff’s Department)

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“They don’t know what all we know,” continued Lott. “These are the hoodlums running around here with guns and doing multiple shootings … Team A, Team B, and Team C are going to be held accountable, and they’re going to get locked up.”

Lott has since requested the public’s help in locating Joshua Elijah House, 22, who failed to surrender himself to deputies this week. House was recorded on home surveillance footage firing “numerous rounds” with an assault rifle during the pool shooting, according to RCSD.

“He was one of the main ones,” said Lott. “He’s had the opportunity to turn himself in through his family. I don’t know if they’ve been conning us or what … they did not show up [on Thursday] when they promised they would. So he’s a fugitive right now.”

Between August 2021 and October 2022, magistrates Mildred Metts and Christina Thompson granted House two personal recognizance bonds for criminal charges including burglary, possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of a firearm. 

Anyone with information on House’s whereabouts is encouraged to call RCSD at (803) 576-3000 or submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of The Midlands at crimesc.com.

This story may be updated.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Andrew Fancher (Travis Bell)

Andrew Fancher is a Lone Star Emmy award-winning journalist from Dallas, Texas. Cut from a bloodline of outlaws and lawmen alike, he was the first of his family to graduate college which was accomplished with honors. Got a story idea or news tip for Andy? Email him directly and connect with him socially across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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7 comments

Squishy123 (the original) June 14, 2024 at 10:23 pm

Those danged Amish are back.

Reply
Nancy Bryson Top fan June 15, 2024 at 8:01 am

Yup.

Reply
River Top fan June 15, 2024 at 8:08 am

Some bottom feeding esquires are ready to claim their client is innocent, there’s no evidence, and make a motion to dismiss.

Reply
AC Top fan June 15, 2024 at 1:43 pm

Leon” little napoleon” Lott should get his head out of Todd Rutherfords *** and do his job. He’s absolutely one of the worst law enforcement officials in the country. He talks tough at his press conferences yet crime is still unchecked. He has more people on his command staff than any other agency in the state instead of putting manpower on the road to combat crime. That’s so he can sit around his round table with all of his sycophants telling him how great he is while the citizens of Richland County suffer.

Reply
CongareeCatfish Top fan June 17, 2024 at 9:46 am

He’s not one of the worst…just in the lower 3rd quartile. A little worse than mediocre. He’s been in the chair waaaay to long.

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AC Top fan June 15, 2024 at 1:50 pm

Remember also that Rutherford and Lott spearheaded the raise the age campaign just a few years ago that raised the age for juveniles to 18 from 17 when it should have been lowered to at least 16. This allows those precious 17 year old thugs to oftentimes escape real punishment by going through family court. It has also contributed to an explosion in crimes by “juveniles”

Reply
dogfan1987 Top fan June 16, 2024 at 9:31 am

Thank you for posting the names of the magistrates who are soft in crime. Now their constituents can put pressure on them.

Reply

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