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Social Media Transaction Robbery Leads to Shooting

Columbia, South Carolina – One man is in jail after being shot while attempting to rob another man selling shoes.

According to Columbia Police Department (CPD), 23-year-old Je’Nell Montez Burton was arrested and charged with armed robbery, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and unlawful carrying of a weapon after he tried to rob a man and his female companion at gun point.

Law enforcement officials said Burton made plans with the victims to purchase shoes they were selling on social media. When the trio met up to complete the transaction, Burton pulled a gun instead.

The male victim pulled his own pistol and fired. It is unknown if Burton shot back, but investigators say a total of 20 rounds were fired. Only Burton was injured however, sustaining non-life-threatening injuries to his hand and leg.

No one else was wounded in the shooting, but the nearby car of an employee at the China Hut restaurant on Gervais Street and Millwood Avenue had its rear and side windows shot out.

Burton was treated at the hospital, then transferred to Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center and held on $75,000 bond.

CPD Property Crimes Unit Investigator, Keith Williamson, told WIS10 what to pay attention to when participating in social media transactions:

“It’s 2019, it’s an avenue to save money, obviously it’s something that people are going to do and I think that a lot of people have been involved with it in some form or fashion but I think it’s just using common sense to avoid anything going wrong.”

“Those red flags would be unusual requests or payments, last-minute changes to meeting locations, people avoiding to answer questions,” Williamson said. “If people are interested in an item you’re selling, or you’re interested in purchasing an item, people should be pretty forthcoming to answering those questions. If they are kind of dodging, then it’s going to be a red flag.”

“One of the most common things is social media transactions, so obviously take a look at their social media, make sure it looks legitimate, some people use fraudulent accounts,” he said.

Williamson went on to say it’s important to pick a sensible place to meet for the transaction. Places such as Police Departments, or Internet Safety Exchange Locations.

In 2018, several police agencies throughout the Midlands established Internet Safety Exchange Locations in response to several killings resulting from robberies. These locations are also considered ideal locations for child custody exchanges to help reduce domestic disturbances.

According to WACHFOX57, the following places have been designated acceptable places to complete these transactions:

Richland County:

Main Headquarters — 5623 Two Notch Road Columbia, SC 29223

Region 1 Headquarters — 2615 Lower Richland Boulevard Hopkins, SC 29061

Region 3 Headquarters — 6429 Bishop Avenue Columbia, SC 29203

Region 4 Headquarters — 1019 Beatty Road Columbia, SC 29210

Region 6 Headquarters — 118 McNulty Street Blythewood, SC 29016

Sumter County:

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office parking lot, 1281 N. Main St. (U.S. 15 North), is also a designated safety zone.

Lexington County:

Town of Lexington Municipal Complex at 111 Maiden Lane in Lexington, South Carolina.

Kershaw County:

Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, 821 Ridgeway Road, in Lugoff.


This self-defense shooting, like many do, took place around vehicles. Violent crime occurs around cars more often then almost anywhere else and knowing how to fight in, or around them is an essential skill. Read here for Vehicle Firearm Tactics Course – Online & DVD.

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