Merchants in Forest Acres, S.C. – a municipality located just east of downtown Columbia, S.C. – have created a fund to assist the family of police officer Greg Alia, who was killed in the line of duty early Wednesday morning.
Why would a man with only misdemeanors on his South Carolina record allegedly shoot and kill a police officer? Alia caught up with him and was shot during an ensuing struggle.
Officers were able to quickly subdue Hall and take him into custody.
“Greg grew up in this area and decided this is where he wanted to start his career”, Sealy said at the Wednesday press conference.
The State Law Enforcement Division charged Hall with murder and possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime this afternoon.
The 32-year-old man leaves behind his wife of almost four years, Kassy, and their newborn son.
As Alia’s patrol auto was returned to the police department, deputies with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and local firefighters took a moment to pray over the vehicle. He was armed with a handgun and a knife at the time, Sealy said.
Chief Sealy did not provide any other details on the shooting. “Forest Acres is a small community, a small police department, we’re one big family”, Sealy said.
A GoFundMe page for Officer Alia has brought in thousands of dollars of donations in the hours after the shooting. He graduated from Richland-Northeast High School and was a University of South Carolina alum. As of noon Wednesday, the suspect was being interviewed by law enforcement officials.
“He was never confrontational, and I thought serving in the police, that’s an incredible quality to have”, Walsh said.
She says: “When my husband died eight years ago, he was so sweet”. But the entrance to the Belk’s department store near the Barnes & Noble bookstore was closed.