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Columbia man charged in St. Andrews triple homicide

Lexington, S.C. – Lexington County deputies have arrested a man accused of fatally shooting three people at a Bush River Road apartment complex Tuesday.

Justin Tyler Ellaree Hopkins, 21, is charged with three counts of murder, unlawful carrying of a pistol, first degree burglary and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, according to arrest warrants.

“Detectives have been working nonstop on this case since we first responded to the scene on Butternut Lane Tuesday morning,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “Witnesses told them they had seen Hopkins near the apartment before the incident and running away from the scene after the shooting.”

Investigators also found physical evidence linking him to the scene after they executed a search warrant at his home Saturday, according to Koon.

“While we were at his house on the search warrant, deputies made contact with Hopkins during a traffic stop,” Koon said. “He had a handgun in his possession and provided an alibi for the time of the shooting that was quickly disproven.”

Hopkins was taken into custody during the traffic stop on Saint Andrews Road and transported to the Lexington County Detention Center. He’s being held there while he awaits a bond hearing.

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