Apartment shooting

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COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man late Wednesday after reports of gunfire in west Columbia.

Officers responded around 2:30 p.m. to reports of shots fired in the area of Claudell Lane. Gunfire struck a building at the Columbia Square Apartments and an air conditioning unit. Police said they located multiple shell casings.

Officers later arrested Todez Donald, on suspicion of armed criminal action, assault, unlawful use of a weapon, and unlawful possession of a concealed weapon.

Witnesses said they saw Donald and another man behind a building on Claudell arguing, and at one point, Donald allegedly shot at the other person. That man fired back, and both ran from the scene.

Police said they found damage from bullets in the side of an apartment building on the street, as well as in a nearby vehicle and an air conditioning unit. Officers also found numerous shell casings and a bag of marijuana.

They also found Donald with a concealable holster on his belt, which he apparently said he used to hold his phone. Detectives determined the holster was too small to fit Donald's phone.

The police activity prompted nearby schools to hold students and staff indoors on Wednesday, but police later allowed buses to take students home.

"There was gunshots, four of 'em I think and then a guy holding his chest kind of jogging down the road and then another man holding a pistol gets into a little red car." Ted Holverson, who works nearby the shooting, said.
Holverson was about 150 yards away at Joe Machens Ford which borders the apartment complex when he witnessed the shots fired.
"You could tell it was gunshots and we were close enough to duck, you know, and get down," Holverson said. "It's just crazy when it's this close to where you work or live or whatever."

Officials with Columbia Public Schools said they held students at West Middle School for about a half hour during dismissal and kept staff at the administration building inside as well.

Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School also said it held students for dismissal due to the police activity.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the latest information.) 

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