Loaded gun found on two people at Columbiana Center Mall

Isaura M. League


COLUMBIA, S.C. — A woman and a teenager are facing charges after police say they brought a loaded gun and showed it to other people at the Columbiana Centre Mall in Harbison. 

Columbia Police say they arrested 40-year-old La’Kenyatta Moore-Rhodes and charged her with pointing and presenting a firearm, unlawful carry of a firearm, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. A 13-year-old who was with her is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a person under the age of 18, unlawful carry of a firearm, pointing and presenting a firearm.

RELATED: Judge denies bond for Amari Smith, third suspect in SC mall shooting

Officers say just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, emergency dispatchers got a  call that a woman and teen were presenting firearms at customers in the mall.

When officers arrived, they say they found the suspects near the food court and detained them. Officers say they searched the teen and found a loaded 9 mm gun on him. According to investigators, Moore-Rhodes initially had the gun but gave it to the teen. 

Officers say Moore-Rhodes does not have a concealed weapons permit. Guns are also not permitted inside the mall by the shopping center’s posted rules. 

The teen was put in SC Department of Juvenile Justice custody while Rhodes Moore was taken to the Lexington jail. 

The incident comes over a month after a shooting at Columbiana Centre Mall. 

Back on April 16, Columbia police say three men opened fire inside the shopping center. A total of 15 people were injured: 9 by gunfire, with the other six injuries coming from people scrambling for safety. 

RELATED: Gun-detecting dog now on patrol at Columbiana Centre Mall

Among those hit by gunfire were  a pregnant woman, teenagers, and a 73-year-old woman, the state says. The 73-year-old suffered “life-altering” injuries according to prosecutors. Prosecutors say surveillance video showed people ducking to avoid being hit by gunfire, a father shielding his two small children from bullets, and a teen who ran into the path of the gun battle to pull her mother to safety.  

The three suspects are facing multiple charges, including attempted murder. They remain behind bars after being denied bond.  


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