19-Year-Old Charged With Murder of SC State Student Brandon Robinson

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Brandon Robinson
Brandon Robinson

A 19-year-old from Charleston, Justin Singleton, was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with the murder of South Carolina State University student Brandon A. Robinson, who was killed outside a campus dorm on Friday afternoon.

University officials had initially locked down the campus after the shooting, and police said they were hunting for four men in connection to the incident. The campus was reopened a few hours later.

Police had no apparent motive in the shooting.

Singleton was arrested in the parking lot of an apartment complex near the campus just after midnight.

“At this time, we believe we have the individual who fired the shot,” a spokesperson with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said.

University President Thomas Elzey spoke to the media Friday, appearing to choke back tears as he talked about Robinson. Elzey promised to keep the students safe. 

“We, again, are extraordinarily sad about this,” Elzey added. “He was a very nice young man. And it hurts. It hurts us all.”

Grief counselors are being made available to students, said Elzey, who added that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley had sent her condolences and pledged her support.

Campus Police Chief Mernard Clarkson said police don’t know what led to the shooting.

Robinson was taken to Regional Medical Center, where he later died.

Justin Singleton
Justin Singleton

Robinson, who attended nearby Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, was a redshirt junior on the school’s football team. According to news reports, Robinson’s stepfather Steven Rolley Sr., 56, had just died last week. Rolley once worked at South Carolina State in the food services division.

Rolley’s funeral was scheduled for today—the day after his stepson was killed.

South Carolina State University, established in 1896, is a historically Black university with about 3,200 students in Orangeburg, about 40 miles south of Columbia.

The shooting happened three days after a senior engineering student at Purdue University shot and stabbed to death a fellow senior engineering student in a basement classroom on campus.

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