The student, Evan Jeffery Gaines, was shot and killed in his off-campus apartment at 1000 Pinegate Drive on March 26, He was 22.
Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright announced Friday that five people have been arrested in connection to the shooting death of University of South Carolina Upstate student Evan Jeffery Gaines.
Gaines was shot and killed in his off-campus apartment at 1000 Pinegate Drive on March 26, He was 22.
“The case kind of went cold. We got a tip here and there and instead of letting it go and hoping something would surface, they just kept pressing the issues, “ Wright said during a news conference Friday afternoon. ”I am proud to tell you there’s been five people arrested and charged with this young man’s murder. All of them are in custody. All of them are from Columbia.“
Gaines knew the five men who entered his apartment and shot him, Wright said.
Those arrested include: Darryl Wayne Cooley, 23, of 5 Twig Lane, Columbia; Rodriguez Kentavious Marshall, 20, of 240 Hardwood Drive, Columbia; Antonio K. Marshall, 24 , of 240 Hardwood Drive, Columbia; and Cainan Keison Gregory Griffin, 21, of 42 Coachman Court, Columbia. Each were charged with murder and armed robbery.
Rodriguez and Antonio Marshall are brothers, Wright said.
Also arrested in the shooting case was Alexander Wright, Jr., 24, of 1659 Featherbed Road, Columbia. Wright was charged with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Kevin Bobo said in a statement Cooley was originally charged with accessory after the fact in July and was out on bond, but after further investigation, new charges were filed against him.
The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office worked with the USC Upstate Police, Colleton County Sheriff’s Office and the Richland County Sheriff’s Office on the investigation.
Investigators used cell phone records and interviews to help lead to the arrests. During the news conference, Wright said the Sheriff’s Office had received information about Gaines.
“We had some things said to us about what Mr. Gaines might have been doing in his room, but whatever he was doing, it doesn’t give anybody the right to take this young man’s life,” Wright said.
Wright told the Herald-Journal in a phone interview that Gaines was suspected of dealing marijuana from his off-campus apartment. There were no drugs found inside the apartment when deputies arrived after the shooting, he said.
Bobo said investigators believe the shooting began as a robbery that turned into a homicide. The Sheriff’s Office stated all parties involved in the incident have been arrested.
“We are really sorry that this happened anywhere much less up here, but I am really proud of the team for just pressing the issue,” Wright said. ”Hard work put this case where it is.“
Gaines was from Columbia and moved to Spartanburg to attend USC Upstate. He was a senior business major only a few months away from graduation.
Klay Peterson, USC Upstate director of public safety and chief of police, also spoke during the news conference.
“We want to thank Sheriff Wright and his outstanding investigative team leading to the arrest of these people,” Peterson said. “Our community has mourned for the last eight months the death of Evan who was a member of our community. He has not been forgotten.”