Sealy told reporters that two officers responded to the suspicious-person report and attempted to talk to Hall before he fled on foot, running through portions of the mall and a bookstore. Hall, officials said, got into a struggle with Alia, pulled out a gun, and fired on Alia. Hall also was armed with a knife, Sealy said.
Officer Alia was a seven-year veteran of the force, and was training a new officer.
Sealy said Alia’s wife, Kassy, gave birth to a baby boy earlier this year.
WLTX reports the situation is being handled by the Columbia Police and the Forest Acres Police Department. Flags were lowered, and condolences were given as Police Chief Gene Sealy announced the death of Officer Greg Alia in the line of duty.
Walsh said that his friend embodied characteristics that would be helpful in law enforcement. The officers approached the vehicle and confronted the suspect, who reportedly became uncooperative and ran from the officers into the mall. “We are a small community, small department, but one big family”.
“We hope everybody prays for Greg’s family”, Sealy said. The most recent officer fatally shot in South Carolina was a Charleston deputy who was killed last September, Berry said.
But the officers were finally able to subdue and arrest him.
Officers from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, CPD, Richland County EMS, and others responded.
The shooting was reported Wednesday morning at Richland Mall in Forest Acres, near Columbia.
Edith Caudle, a spokeswoman for Richland School District 1, said A.C. Flora High School, a few blocks from the mall, was briefly put on lockdown following the shooting, but the school has since resumed normal operations.
The department store was expected to open slightly later than usual.