Columbiana Centre in SC adds gun detecting dog to security

Isaura M. League


After a shooting and melee at Columbiana Centre mall on April 16 that injured 15 people, the mall’s owner has added a specially trained firearm-detecting dog to its security team.

Shoppers and employees can expect to see Carlos patrolling the mall in the popular Harbison shopping and entertainment district.

In April, the German Shepherd joined the mall’s security partner, Andy Frain Services, Columbiana Centre spokeswoman Rachel Wille told The State on Thursday.

Carlos is the a specially trained firearm detecting dog now patrolling Columbiana Centre. Submitted Brookfield Properties

Shoppers will likely be unaware that Carlos, known among handlers for his friendly demeanor, has scanned them for firearms, Wille said in a news release.

Firearms are strictly prohibited at Columbiana Centre, which is a private property owned by Brookfield Properties.

With the ability to detect firearms, Carlos will patrol the shopping center with his handler to deter the possession of these weapons, and any that are brought onto the property will be quickly and safely removed.

“We share the concerns of our community following recent incidents, which led to the decision to implement this new security measure,” Columbiana Centre General Manager Taryn Trefethen-Boileau said in the release. “Nothing is more important to us than the well-being of our shoppers, tenants and employees. Our goal is to create the safest environment possible and we hope that taking this action will help us to move forward together.”

Columbiana Centre mall in Irmo. Tracy Glantz [email protected]

Columbiana Centre welcomes millions of guests a year and provides for thousands of retail associate jobs, according to the release.

The Columbia Police Department said that on April 16 three men came to the mall with guns and exchanged gunfire. Nine people were shot and six others were hurt as people fled from the gunfire. The victims ranged in age from 15 to 73, police said.

None of the victims injured in the shooting and melee died.

Marquise Love Robinson, 20, Amari Sincere-Jamal Smith, 21, and Jewayne M. Price, 22, were each charged with attempted murder, unlawful carrying of a pistol and nine counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, police said. All three had bond denied and are currently locked up in the Lexington County Detention Center.

Serving as a community hub is a privilege taken seriously by the mall’s owners, they said. They believe adding the dog trained at Shallow Creek Kennels will improve the safety for everyone at the shopping center. Shallow Creek is known for training police dogs, according to the release.

“Our extensive training program is built on years of law enforcement experience to ensure the highest quality in service, security and care for the dogs. Weapon detection and deterrence is a critical component to safety and prevention,” Shallow Creek Kennels owner John Brannon said in the release. “Our involvement with mall security has been a natural collaboration, and we are honored to be a trusted resource to help support customers, merchants and shopping center management.”

In addition to Carlos, shoppers at Columbiana Centre should expect to see increased security and a greater police presence at the mall, spokeswoman Lindsay Kahn said in April.

Mall officials have said Columbiana Centre does not have plans to add metal detectors at this time.


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This story was originally published May
19, 2022 3:51 PM.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State focused on breaking news, public safety and trending news. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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