May 26, 2022 ** Update **
The adult suspect in this case, La’Kenyatta Moore-Rhodes faces two additional charges under the City of Columbia Ordinances:[14-201] Carrying Weapons, [14-8] Hate Intimidation
While inside the mall, Moore-Rhodes is accused of getting into a verbal altercation with and using offensive and derogatory language at three people who identify as transgender. During the altercation, the suspect is accused of presenting a firearm at the victims. No shots were fired.
Initial Information Released:
Columbia Police Department (CPD) investigators have charged a 40-year-old woman and her 13-year-old relative after being accused of presenting a loaded firearm at patrons inside Columbiana Centre.
Moore-Rhodes is accused of arguing with at least three people inside the mall before presenting the gun to them.
Rhodes-Moore does not have a South Carolina concealed weapons permit.
The juvenile is housed at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (SCDJJ) charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Person under the Age of 18, Unlawful Carry of a Firearm and Pointing and Presenting a Firearm.
CPD officers were dispatched to 100 Columbiana Drive shortly before 7:00 last night after dispatchers received information that a female and a juvenile were presenting firearms at patrons inside the mall.
When officers arrived, they found the suspects and detained them. While outside of the mall and trying to search the teen, he ran from police but was soon captured. During the foot chase, an officer suffered a significant fall and was taken to a local hospital. Thankfully he did not receive life-threatening injuries.
After searching for the teen, officers found a loaded 9mm firearm on him. The firearm was collected and will be processed as evidence. During the course of the investigation and after reviewing surveillance video, investigators determined that Moore-Rhodes initially had the loaded gun in her possession and gave it to the teen.
CPD is consulting with the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office regarding the on-going investigation.