The number of murders by gunfire in Richland County doubled in 2021 from the year before but of those killings all 32 have been solved, Sheriff Leon Lott announced during a press conference today.
These numbers reflect the rise in gun violence that we have seen in Richland County. In 2021, Richland County deputies responded to 113 shooting incidents in which a person was struck by gunfire and survived. That’s up from 88 in 2020.
“The fact that all 32 murders were solved shows that our investigators are working closely with our community and do not give up on these victims. This senseless violence is not a law enforcement problem,” Sheriff Lott said. “We can solve the cases as they come in but that doesn’t stop the violence from happening- something has to change within the community.”
While numerous arrests have been made in last year’s murder cases, a suspect in a December murder remains outstanding.
On December 18, 2021, deputies responded to a shooting on Oakside Lane in Columbia. 28-year-old Arturo Valdez-Miguel succumbed to the injuries he sustained and the shooter, Gabriel Ramirez-Medrano (DOB: 07/11/1978) continues to evade arrest.
Ramirez-Medrano is wanted for Murder. Anyone with information on Ramirez-Medrano’s whereabouts is asked to submit a tip to Crime Stoppers at crimesc.com or call 911.