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South Carolina State University shooting: student Brandon Robinson dies, search for four suspects

2:40 PM, Jan 25, 2014   |    comments
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Video: President emotional over student killed at SCSU

Video: SC State shooting suspect denied bond

Justin Bernard Singleton of Charleston, S.C.

 


 


ORANGEBURG, S.C. - A suspect was arrested Saturday in the fatal shooting of a student at South Carolina State University, police said.

Justin Bernard Singleton, 19, of Charleston, was taken into custody early Saturday morning and has been charged with murder in the death of Brandon Robinson, 20, of Orangeburg, according to a news release from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Authorities had said they were looking for four men who had left campus. Thom Berry, a public information officer with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, told the Associated Press early Saturday that there was no ongoing safety concern for the community but declined to say whether there was still an active manhunt.

"At this time, we believe we have the individual who fired the shot," Berry said.

Robinson, who played on the school's football team, was shot around 1:30 p.m. ET Friday outside Andrew Hugine Suites, a dormitory for upperclassmen on the campus of the historically black university about 40 miles south of Columbia, S.C.

"We are extraordinarily sad about this," said university President Thomas Elzey, who teared up as he spoke at a Friday evening news conference. "He's a very nice young man ... and it hurts. It hurts us all."

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley offered any help the school needed, Elzey said. Students, faculty and staff are being offered counseling.

"We are at loss for words right now," Head Coach Buddy Pough said in a statement from the university Saturday. "The entire university and our athletic family are grieving right now and our hearts are heavy. Our deepest condolences go out to the Robinson family.

"Brandon was a fine young man who was paying his way through college. All he wanted to do was play football for the university. It's a tragic situation, one from which we all must learn," continued Pough.

Athletics Director Charlene Johnson said the university has suffered a great loss.

"We are all saddened by the tragic loss of Brandon Robinson, one of our student-athletes," Athletics Director Charlene Johnson said in a university statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

Tommy Brown, athletics director and head football coach at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, coached Robinson as a prep player and remembered him as a "great kid."

"He just graduated in 2011," Brown said. "I remember him playing for us. For him to be dead at this time is just tough to visualize."

Brown said after graduating from his school, Robinson walked-on at the university and made the team. He says the young player likely would have been a starter next season.

"He's such a great kid he's done so much and he had a great future in front of him," Brown said.

Those at the 3,200-student school were told to shelter in place all afternoon Friday, and no one was allowed to leave or enter the grounds until about 6 p.m.

South Carolina State also was the site of a fatal shooting in 2011, when police said three men met on campus for a drug deal. A student, 22-year-old Jonathan Bailey, was killed.


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