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Saturday, 5 June 2010

Two groups of suspected gang members fired off some 15 shots on a corner in Five Points a little more than a week ago

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Two groups of suspected gang members fired off some 15 shots on a corner in Five Points a little more than a week ago. The shooting has gotten the attention and the Richland County Sheriff's Department's Gang Task Force and the State Law Enforcement Division.

We talked to a witness who saw the shooting from only a few feet away.

"A large fight broke out involving dozens of people and maybe a minute after the fight started," said a witness, whose identity we agreed to hide. "I heard a gunshot and then a pause and then just a rapid barrage almost of gunfire and then everybody just scattered. After that, I was running, too. I didn't know what was going on."

The man watched as two gangs turned the corner of Greene and Harden in to a gun fight. "Guys dressed in mostly blue and black and then another group of guys, much larger group of guys dressed with red hats, red t-shirts," he said.

It happened just after 2:00am on May 23, right behind Grilled Teriyaki in the heart of Five Points. Investigators recovered around 15 shell casings that night. A bullet hit one man in the leg, landed in the door of Group Therapy, and a bullet ripped through the window at Pour House.

"We're not going to allow them to take over, we're not going to allow them to take that as their turf, that they're in charge -- that's not going to happen," said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, who fielded calls and emails from the people who live and work in five points.

Lott sent his gang unit down last weekend to case the area. "We're trying to identify the individuals," he said. "There are actually gangs members and that's what we were able to find out last weekend, that there is confirmed gang members who are meeting in the Five Points area and basically hanging out and causing some of the problems that Five Points have been experiencing."

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