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Man admits guilt in shooting that paralyzed aspiring Army officer, injured airman and 1 other

A gavel cracks down. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid/U.S. Air Force)
December 12, 2019

The suspect in a Five Points triple shooting that paralyzed a bystander pleaded guilty Wednesday.

Arthur Jones of Hopkins admitted in a Richland County courtroom that he opened fire on the crowded streets of the popular nightlife district only hours after the annual St. Pat’s in Five Points festival.

Judge Casey Manning sentenced Jones, 24, to 45 years in prison.

In March 2018, revelers in Five Points, many still celebrating after the St. Patrick’s Day festival, were sent into chaos as bullets flew near the intersection of Greene and Harden streets close to 2 a.m. When the shooting was over, three men were lying near the intersection with bullet wounds.

After studying video footage, the Columbia Police Department quickly identified Jones as the primary shooter and arrested him in less than two hours. Investigators believed Jones argued with another man before opening fire into the crowd.

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Howard Boone Jr., then a 23-year-old student at St. Augustine University in Raleigh, N.C., was shot in the neck, the bullet striking his spinal cord. Though he survived, he was paralyzed from the neck down.

The two other victims, one an airman stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, were also in their early 20s. A bullet struck one in the face, police said. The victims survived after being hospitalized.

Boone was in St. Augustine’s ROTC program and hoped to become an officer in the Army. After the shooting, he founded Legacy 318, an organization with a mission to bring awareness about gun violence and misuse of firearms.

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© 2019 The State