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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 20, 2018

North Carolina Man Sentenced to 105 Months Imprisonment After Pleading Guilty to Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition Stemming from Mall Standoff

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon stated that James Jacob Parrish, Jr., age 36, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, was sentenced in federal court to 105 months imprisonment with 3 years of supervised release to follow. Parrish plead guilty last November to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1). Chief United States District Judge Terry L. Wooten imposed the sentence.

Evidence presented in court established that at approximately 8:00pm on Sunday, March 26, 2017, deputies with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (“RCSD”) were dispatched to an alarm and shots fired call at Columbia Mall on Two Notch Road. The mall was closed at the time. Deputies located a vehicle registered to Parrish parked in the median of the mall parking lot with a flat front tire and noticed bullet holes in the glass door of the Sears Automotive Department with spent 9mm shell casings lying on the sidewalk in front of the door. Upon making entry into the Sears Automotive Department, deputies noticed an interior glass door had been shot out as well.

The RCSD’s Special Response Team (“SRT”) responded to the scene and ultimately located Parrish barricaded inside an interior room. SRT tried to negotiate with Parrish to surrender peacefully and during the negotiations, Parrish made threats to shoot the officers. After unsuccessful negotiations, SRT made entry into the room and encountered Parrish pointing a loaded Kahr 9mm handgun at them. SRT was able to safely apprehend Parrish and placed him under arrest. Parrish was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment for a foot injury he sustained when he fell through a ceiling while trying to escape detection. While at the hospital, Parrish attempted to take a handgun from a deputy on two separate occasions.

Parrish is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition based upon his prior North Carolina state convictions, which include possession of marijuana (2000), carrying a concealed weapon (2002), possession of stolen goods (2003), two separate counts of possession of cocaine (2003), possession with intent to distribute a counterfeit substance (2003), sell of cocaine (2003), and second degree murder/second degree kidnapping/attempted robbery with a deadly weapon/conspiracy to commit robbery with a deadly weapon (2005). Parrish was released on North Carolina parole in 2015.    

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) and the RCSD and was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes of the Columbia office handled the case. Project CeaseFire is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority.  In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001. 

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Stacey D. Haynes (803) 929-3000
Updated July 20, 2018