Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

The South Carolina convenience store owner charged with murdering a 14-year-old boy in Columbia will remain in jail after a first appearance before a magistrate judge.

According to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, 58-year-old Rick Chow, who owns the Shell gas station on Parklane Road, chased Cyrus Carmack-Belton from his store, and shot him in the back.

The incident happened around 8 p.m. on Sunday after Chow suspected Carmack-Belton of shoplifting.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said in a press conference on Monday that there is “no evidence” Carmack-Belton stole anything.

“You don’t shoot somebody in the back who’s not a threat to you,” Lott said. “That’s the same standard that we do, the same standard that cops have to live by. You have to be defending someone’s life or your life, and there has to be an immediate danger to you at that point.”

While running away, Carmack-Belton fell and was then shot just down the road on Springtree Drive

Chow’s bond on the murder charge could not be set by Magistrate Judge John McLeod on Tuesday and will be set by a circuit court judge at a later date.

Representatives for the victim, as well as Chow’s attorney, declined to speak at the hearing.

Chow spoke little at the hearing, beyond saying “Yes, your honor,” and acknowledging that he understood McLeod’s questions.

The store owner is being represented by attorney James R. Snell Jr.

The victim’s family is being represented by Rep. Todd Rutherford.

RCSD has reviewed surveillance footage as part of its investigation into the killing.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born | buffygunner@illicitdeeds.com