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Four charged with attempted murder

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Two suspects arrested: two sought; 64 warrants issued

By Chris Sardelli

Christopher Sardelli
csardelli@thelancasternews.com
Two men were arrested, and another two are wanted, in a multi-count attempted murder case involving the shootings of two occupied cars in the Pardue Street neighborhood last month.
A total of 64 warrants were issued Sept. 24 on four men, including Christopher Columbus Mingo, 22, 2201 Pardue St., Terence Lamont Grier, 23, 1507 King Circle, Jonathon McGriff, 23, 701 Saint Paul St., and Rodmetrius Jamall Montgomery, 28, 2204 Pardue St., according to a Lancaster Police Department incident report.
Both Mingo and McGriff were found during a joint operation with local and state authorities Sept. 24, though the others are still wanted, the report said.
The charges include four counts each of attempted murder and four counts each of possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, said Lancaster Police Capt. Scott Grant.
The charges were developed after an investigation into the shootings of two cars, both of which were full of people, on Sept. 9 and Sept. 12.
“This was an extremely senseless crime. We are very fortunate that nobody was hurt or killed in these incidents,” Grant said Tuesday afternoon.
The police department’s Special Operation Division worked along with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office and the S.C. Law Enforcement Division to locate and arrest the men during the operation, the report said.
“We enlisted the assistance of the sheriff’s office and SLED because we thought some of the suspects might be found outside of the city of Lancaster,” Grant said.
Officers received a search warrant for Mingo’s home in the 2200 block of Palmetto Place, primarily to find any ammunition or firearms related to the case, the report said.
The joint team arrived at the home, knocked on the door, and yelled “police,” though no one answered. The group then forced open the front door and searched the home.
As they were searching the second floor of the apartment, the group found Mingo asleep in a bedroom, where he was then arrested, the report said.
During the search, officers found a box of .38-caliber bullets in a closet, the report said.
The group also discovered a 50-inch flat screen television in the home and noticed wall brackets attached to the unit, though it was sitting on a dresser, the report said.
“Both the Lancaster Police Department and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office had had a rash of burglaries where flat screen TV’s have been stolen,” an officer wrote in the report. “Due to this, the television will be secured until the TV can be verified as stolen or not.”
McGriff was later found in a nearby apartment and arrested as well, the report said.
The car shootings
The investigation began Sept. 9, when a trio of people were shot at as they drove from Pardue Street onto Arch Street, a police incident report said.
In that case, two men reported the crime, including a 33-year-old driver and his 31-year-old passenger. After hearing gunshots, the driver sped away from the area and later found bullet holes in his right rear tail light and passenger’s side front door, the report said.
The men reported seeing a black Honda with tinted windows pull onto Pardue Street as they were driving, and then heard the gunshots.
Three days later, on Sept. 12, a 43-year-old woman reported she had just been shot at while driving her car away from the 1600 block of Pardue Street, another incident report said.
Inside the car were a 4-month-old child, as well as the woman’s 11-year-old granddaughter, who reported seeing a man dressed all in black appear to be firing a gun in their direction, the report said.
As the victims were being interviewed, police received another shots fired call at 12:34 a.m. from the 600 block of the same neighborhood, another incident report said.
Though police didn’t find evidence of a shooting in that area, they later found six bullet shells near the area where the previous two victims were shot at.
An officer examined the victim’s car and noted it had been struck three times. One bullet struck the hood, but did not enter the car; another bullet struck the driver’s side window, shattering the glass; a third bullet struck the driver’s side just past the door.
No one was injured in either shooting.
Grant said the four men received so many charges because of the large number of occupants who were shot at within the two cars.
“It’s just so senseless. They didn’t even know who was in the cars,” Grant said.
On Tuesday, Grant said law enforcement officers were on the hunt for the other two men.
“We are going to continue looking for Grier and Montgomery until they are located and arrested,” Grant said. “We ask that anyone who might have information on them call the police department at (803) 283-1171 or the anonymous tip line at (803) 289-6040.”
Other charges
The shooting case is not the first time three of the men have had a brush with the law.
Grier was one of two men chased by deputies and arrested separately May 30, 2013, after fleeing the scene of a home burglary in the 5000 block of Sedgefield Drive, according to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office news release.
He was charged with first-degree burglary, malicious injury to property and two counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, the release said.
Those charges – along with a criminal domestic violence charge from a July 2010 arrest – are still pending, according to the S.C. Judicial Department online case database.
Mingo was charged with traffic violation, possession of marijuana and assault on a police officer, following a June 2012 traffic stop that resulted in a brief struggle with and chase from a deputy, according to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
Mingo also has several pending charges in the 6th Judicial Circuit, including possession of a controlled substance, possession of cocaine and possession of a schedule I, II or III substance, all from a July 2013 arrest, according to the S.C. Judicial Department website.
Montgomery pleaded guilty to a second-degree burglary charge in Sept. 2006 stemming from an arrest earlier that year, according to judicial records. He was sentenced to six years in a detention facility under the state’s Youthful Offenders Act, with credit for time served, and received a $100 fine and three years of probation, per the S.C. Judicial website.

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Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416