Strong wind gusts picked up leaves and pushed them past the feet of Monica Robinson Rolley, as she walked outside of her home Saturday afternoon.
Her home on Goff Avenue faces South Carolina State University, where her son, Brandon Alexander Robinson, was fatally wounded on Friday. Robinson Rolley lives so close to the university, she can walk in under five minutes to where her son was allegedly shot by a fellow student.
Justin Bernard Singleton, 19, of Charleston, is charged with murder. A bail hearing was held Saturday for Singleton, but he will have to go before a judge in General Sessions Court to have his bail set because of the murder charge, said an Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Detention Center staffer.
"The S.C. State University family is devastated by the tragic loss of Brandon," said Thomas J. Elzey, university president, through a written release on Saturday. "Our hearts are heavy with grief and sorrow by the senseless act of violence, which took too soon a beloved member of our university family."
"We are at loss for words right now," said Bulldog Head Coach Buddy Pough, through the written release. "The entire university and our athletic family are grieving right now and our hearts are heavy. Our deepest condolences go out to the Robinson family."
Singleton, a full-time business major, played football for the university as an outside linebacker and defensive end, according to the written release. Robinson was a junior industrial engineering technology major.
What triggered the argument between the two remains unclear. Singleton and Robinson were arguing outside of the "K" Hall of the Andrew Hugine Suites Living and Learning Community on campus, when Singleton pulled out a gun and shot at Robinson, according to the arrest warrant. The bullet struck Robinson in the neck.
The shooting set off a manhunt for Singleton lasting more than 10 hours. He was arrested shortly after midnight in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Orangeburg, said Thom Berry, spokesman for the State Law Enforcement Division.
Singleton could face a minimum of 30 years to life in prison or death, if convicted. SLED is leading the investigation because state law requires it take over any case involving the death of a student on a campus, Berry said.
Singleton is a full-time sophomore business major, said Sonja Bennett, university vice president of external affairs. He lived off campus with his mother at the University Village Apartments, a university-owned student complex. Singleton's mother works at the complex as an area coordinator, according to Bennett.
Authorities said Friday they were interested in finding at least three persons of interest, who they believed witnessed the shooting. Yet, as of Saturday, SLED would not confirm investigators were still looking for the three. Berry would only say the investigation is continuing.
Yellow crime scene tape still wrapped a pole where Robinson was shot. Someone took to the internet to create a GoFundMe.com page to help cover Robinson's funeral expenses. More than $4,000 had been raised in six hours.
Robinson Rolley did not address reporters and avoided glancing in their direction outside of her home on Saturday. After family and friends hugged her, she was ushered to a waiting car. More cars waited for other family members - all headed for the funeral of Robinson Rolley's husband.
In addition to losing her son on Friday, Robinson Rolley lost her husband just seven days prior, according to an obituary published in the Times and Democrat. Steven Rolley Sr., 56, died Jan. 17. Rolley was Robinson's stepfather and his funeral took place Saturday afternoon.
Staff Writer Christina Elmore contributed to this story.
Read more about the shooting here.
Justin Bernard Singleton, 19, of Charleston (left) is charged with murder in the Jan. 24 shooting death of Brandon Alexander Robinson, 20, of Orangeburg on the campus of S.C. State University.×
S.C. State's Hugine Suites was the scene of a fatal shooting Friday afternoon Jan. 24, 2014. The victim is a S.C. State football player, and Orangeburg Wilkinson high school graduate.×
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