Friday, November 15 2013 4:16 PM EST2013-11-15 21:16:19 GMT
Michael Juan Smith (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center)
A man was arrested in connection with an 18-year-old woman being shot in Five Points early Sunday morning, Interim Chief Ruben Santiago said. Michael Juan Smith, 20, was arrested shortly after the shootingMore >>
The man accused of firing the bullet that critically injured an 18-year-old University of South Carolina student in Five Points early Sunday morning has been denied bond.More >>
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -
The family of a University of South Carolina student who was struck by a stray bullet in Five Points over the weekend is urging prosecutors to consider more serious charges for the man accused of pulling the trigger early Sunday morning.
As Martha Childress continues her recovery in a Columbia hospital, her family believes 21-year-old Michael Juan Smith should be charged with attempted murder. He's currently being held without bond on assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and possession of a stolen pistol.
According to a family spokesperson, the stray bullet from a .40 caliber handgun pierced the 18-year-old's lung, kidney, liver and lodged in her spine, severing her spinal column. She is paralyzed.
Her uncle, Jim Carpenter, said doctors told the family after the surgery, "it was touch and go," and they, "could have easily lost her."
Carpenter and the family credit the quick actions of paramedics and emergency room doctors for saving the freshman's life.
"Martha is a fighter, she doesn't want to be thought of as a victim," said Carpenter.
According to Carpenter, Childress was in Five Points after an exciting day of pledging the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and enjoying a visit from her lifelong friend, who currently attends Clemson University.
Carpenter says the girls had gone to Five Points to a Pita bread restaurant. Family members are confident they hadn't been drinking. Childress then took her mother's advice and was waiting for a taxi instead of walking home. That's when she was hit by a bullet fired by Smith, police said.
According to officers, Smith fired at two unknown men he was arguing with. The bullet instead went into a crowd of people standing near the Five Points fountain.
According to Carpenter, Childress told friends immediately after the shooting that she could not feel her legs.
She was rushed to an area hospital in critical condition.
Carpenter says Childress was recently moved to a step-down unit, which is limited to visitors. She's seen her mother and her stepsister, who is a physician in Philadelphia who flew to Columbia when she heard what happened. Childress also asked to see her brother.
She's been able to communicate with friends and family through social media.
Sheposted a message on Twitter to show her appreciation for the support the community has offered. "Thanks to everyone who's kept me in their constant thoughts and prayers through this difficult time. The support means so much to me."
Childress graduated from J. L. Mann High School in Greenville in the spring. She's an international business major at USC.
Family friends are working to set up a 501 C-3 to help with Martha's recovery at BB&T Bank, which is where her father works. We'll share that information when we receive it.
Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-09-16 15:11:22 GMT
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Two people are wanted for stealing a pocketbook out of a shopping cart from a Wal-Mart parking lot, according to the Conway Police Department. Officers responded to Wal-Mart on ChurchMore >>
Two people are wanted for stealing a pocketbook out of a shopping cart from a Wal-Mart parking lot, according to the Conway Police Department.More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 10:53 AM EDT2014-09-16 14:53:27 GMT
DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - Two men wanted in connection with a murder were arrested in Darlington on Monday. Quentin Joshua Gibson, 23, and Antonio McCoy Gregg, 24, were captured by the Darlington City PoliceMore >>
Two men wanted in connection with a murder were arrested in Darlington on Monday.More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:52 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:52:09 GMT
HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - The Hartsville Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying the two people in the pictures. The individuals pictured passed over $1000 in counterfeit travelersMore >>
The Hartsville Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying the two people in the pictures.More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:19 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:19:31 GMT
MYRTLE BEACH (WMBF) - Tracking a few early morning showers moving across the area. Expect to see some on-and-off showers through this evening but widespread rain looks unlikely. Temperatures will be aMore >>
Tracking a few early morning showers moving across the area. Expect to see some on-and-off showers through this evening but widespread rain looks unlikely. Temperatures will be a bit warmer today with middle 80s area-wide.More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:29 AM EDT2014-09-16 12:29:19 GMT
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – An Horry County Police vehicle was involved in a traffic accident with injuries in North Myrtle Beach Tuesday morning. One person, who was in the other vehicle, was transportedMore >>
An Horry County Police vehicle was involved in a traffic accident with injuries in North Myrtle Beach Tuesday morning.More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:35 AM EDT2014-09-16 11:35:57 GMT
ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WMBF)-The Town of Atlantic Beach gives WMBF almost 200 pages of records regarding bike fest and Memorial Day Weekend. The FOIA Request WMBF News sent to Atlantic Beach asked for anyMore >>
Documents released this week by the Town of Atlantic Beach, over three months after WMBF News submitted a Freedom of Information Act request, reveal new details about the town's plans and staffing on Memorial Day weekend 2014. More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:56 AM EDT2014-09-16 09:56:50 GMT
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Everyone should be able to get on the beach, but not everyone has access, especially those who are physically disabled. Improving our beaches has always been a focus inMore >>
Everyone should be able to get on the beach, but not everyone has access, especially those who are physically disabled. Improving our beaches has always been a focus in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. Now, grant money from the Department of Health and Environmental Control is allowing beach access to become more of a priority.More >>
Monday, September 15 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-09-16 03:14:40 GMT
CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - The last 12 months have been especially active for Lorenzo Taliaferro. A year ago he was in the early stages of a senior season at Coastal Carolina that would end with him tying orMore >>
Two weeks in, former Coastal Carolina standout is getting used to a new life in a new league.