The man charged with murder in a South Carolina shooting Tuesday was a fugitive from a May shootout at a North Carolina mall where both he and the victim in Tuesday’s killing shot each other, according to officials and court proceedings.
On Wednesday, York County Coroner Sabrina Gast identified the victim killed in Tuesday’s shooting in Rock Hill as Kevion Harris, 32, of Rock Hill.
Harris was found dead on Coronet Court near apartments off Heckle Boulevard in southern Rock Hill around 3 a.m. Tuesday, Gast said.
Jamie Gavantay Williams, 25, of Rock Hill, was arrested Tuesday afternoon in connection with Harris’ death and charged with murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and illegal carrying of a gun, according to court documents and Detective Brandon Avidon of the Rock Hill Police Department.
Police have not released details about the motive for Tuesday’s killing, or if it is connected to the confrontation between the two men in May.
Suspect appears in S.C. court
Williams made his first Rock Hill court appearance Wednesday for the South Carolina murder and a charge of being a fugitive from North Carolina.
In court, Avidon said evidence recovered at the Rock Hill shooting scene led to Williams’ arrest. Avidon said Harris was shot to death, but did not say what evidence police recovered.
Avidon asked a judge to deny bail to Williams to protect the safety of the public.
Williams said in court Wednesday he is not guilty.
“I ain’t kill nobody,” Williams said in court before he was led out of the courtroom by an officer. “I promise I ain’t kill that man.”
Harris’ family members wept in court. A sister asked that Williams be kept in jail pending trial.
Bond was denied to Williams Wednesday in court.
Williams faces up to life in prison if convicted of murder under South Carolina law.
Mall shootout in May near Charlotte
Williams and Harris were charged in May after a shootout on May 2 at Carolina Place Mall in Pineville, North Carolina, according to Rock Hill police Lt. Michael Chavis, and police and court records. The mall is between Charlotte and Rock Hill.
In that shootout in May, Williams and Harris allegedly shot each other inside the mall, causing the mall to be evacuated, PIneville police said in May. Both men were treated for injuries from the May shooting, then charged for the shooting at the mall, police said.
Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office online records show Williams was given a $245,000 bond for three charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, injury to personal property, and possession of a weapon by a felon after the May shootout.
However, Williams was wanted by authorities in North Carolina on those pending charges and was considered a fugitive from justice, official said in court Wednesday.
Rock Hill police served a North Carolina fugitive warrant against Williams Wednesday, officials said in court. Williams waived extradition to North Carolina on the fugitive charge, but is expected to remain in the York County jail pending trial because of the pending murder charge in South Carolina.
Records: Suspect is a felon on bail for drugs, guns
Williams was free on bail from those pending Mecklenburg County charges and from arrests in York County in South Carolina earlier this year, police and court records show.
In addition to the mall shooting, Williams was free on a $23,000 bond for charges of drug trafficking and failure to stop for police from York County arrests in February and March, South Carolina Court records show. Those York County charges remain pending.
Williams has previous convictions in York County for drugs and weapons charges from 2018 and 2017, court records show. He was sentenced to three years in the S.C. Department of Corrections in 2018, records show.
Williams also has a 2015 York County conviction for burglary, records show.