COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD)- A Richland County convenience store owner is facing murder charges after he allegedly shot and killed a teenage boy.
According to the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, the shooting happened around 8:00 p.m. Sunday at a convenience store on Springtree Drive, near Parklane Road in Columbia.
The Richland County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 14-year-old Cyrus Carmack-Belton.
During a news conference, Sheriff Leon Lott said the shooting stemmed from a confrontation between the store owner — later identified as 58-year-old Rick Chow — and Carmack-Belton after Chow suspected he was shoplifting bottles of water.
Deputies, however, said there was “no evidence” that anything was stolen from the store.
Authorities said after a verbal altercation inside the store, Chow and his son chased the victim as he ran down the street. The teen reportedly fell but got back up and ran.
Chow’s son told his dad Carmack-Belton was armed, and Chow shot Carmack-Belton in the back with a pistol as he was running away, according to authorities.
Lott said Carmack-Belton was armed with a gun, which was later recovered by deputies near his body, according to NBC affiliate WIS.
“It’s senseless and it doesn’t make sense,” Lott said. “We have a family that’s grieving and a community that’s grieving.”
Chow was charged with murder and booked into the Richland County Detention Center.
The investigation is ongoing.
This story is developing.