The University of South Carolina-Upstate announced the all-clear had been given for its Spartanburg campus after a shooting at nearby apartments Tuesday. However, the school’s initial account of a suspect with an “automatic weapon” has been called “not accurate” by law enforcement.
A Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said the shooting occurred at the Campus Edge Apartments across the street from the college campus. Deputies responding around 12:20 p.m. Tuesday found the victim with a non-life-threatening wound to his arm. The man said he had been trying to meet with someone at the complex when he asked another man for directions. The victim told deputies the man started “fidgeting around his waistband,” then pulled a weapon and fired.
However, the spokesman said the victim’s story changed after he was brought to the hospital and he is no longer cooperating with investigators.
The shooting and its proximity to campus prompted USC-Upstate officials to go on lockdown status. The school said in a Twitter post that the suspect was a “black male wearing khaki pants and grey hoodie carrying an automatic weapon.” However, Spartanburg County deputies disputed that account.
“At no time did my agency advise USC-Upstate to go on lockdown status, and none of our deputies have been on their campus searching for a possible suspect,” Sheriff’s Office Lt. Kevin Bobo said in an email. “The first time we learned of (the school’s alert) is when a local reporter showed it to one of our lieutenants and sergeants on the scene. That information is NOT accurate. Our investigation continues, but at present, we don’t feel there was or is any active threat to the students and staff at USC-Upstate. When more information becomes available, it will be passed on.”
A call and email to a school spokeswoman have not been returned.