Abrian Sabb bond hearing

Abrian Sabb, suspect in a shooting at the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties, appears in Orangeburg County Magistrate Court on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Gregory Yee/Staff

A 23-year-old Orangeburg man accused of entering a hospital with a firearm, shooting and wounding a nurse on Wednesday, will remain in jail for the foreseeable future. 

Abrian Dayquan Sabb made a brief appearance in Orangeburg County Magistrate Court on Thursday for a bond hearing. He was denied bail on the four charges against him — two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and one count each of attempted murder and first-degree burglary.

A judge stated that he did not believe Sabb was a flight risk, but concurred with statements from a victim's advocate and law enforcement that they believed the suspect was a danger to the community. 

The male victim of the shooting at the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun counties was struck in the abdomen, according to documents released by authorities on Wednesday. He underwent surgery. 

The victim remains on life support and is undergoing "critical care," according to a statement made in court on Thursday. 

Abrian Sabb bond court papers

Abrian Dayquan Sabb, charged with attempted murder and other counts after he allegedly entered an Orangeburg hospital and opened fire, injuring a nurse, appears in Orangeburg County Magistrate Court on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Gregory Yee/Staff

After the brief hearing, the suspect's father, also named Abrian Sabb, said there is far more to the story than what's been revealed by law enforcement so far. 

He said his son was diagnosed with schizophrenia about two years ago and has struggled to get adequate treatment ever since. 

The suspect's diagnosis has not been confirmed by authorities. 

The elder Sabb said that he is sorry for what happened and that he does not excuse his son, but that the public needs to understand that his son would not purposefully hurt someone.

Wednesday's outburst of violence can be linked to the failures of the mental health system in South Carolina, the father said. 

"He is a mentally ill patient," the elder Sabb said. "He had not been taking his medication, now that we know, since August."

The father said that on Tuesday, he and his wife got a call from their son's girlfriend saying that he had an "episode." The elder Sabb told his son's girlfriend to call law enforcement, but she did not because she was afraid he would go to jail. 

The elder Sabb said he called 911 and later asked deputies to take his son into custody for his own safety and the safety of others.

Deputies said they couldn't do anything because the girlfriend told them nothing happened to her, the father said.

When Sabb's parents got to their son's home, they met with deputies, who turned Sabb's handgun over to the father. Sabb's parents later convinced him to come with them to a mental health center where he had previously sought treatment.

The center, however, turned them away, telling them to come back on Friday, the father said. 

The family made plans and, after Sabb had another, less severe episode Tuesday night, decided to get him to a hospital Wednesday morning, the father said. The parents drove back to their home in Georgetown because of previous obligations.

Sometime after Sabb's parents drove back to Georgetown on Tuesday, the suspect's younger brother took him to a gun store and purchased what the father described as a .223-caliber "assault weapon."

Law enforcement has not confirmed exactly what kind of firearm was used during Wednesday morning's shooting at the Regional Medical Center.

Sabb's girlfriend was able to get the rifle away from Sabb and hide it in her house, Sabb's father said. 

Affidavits released by the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office on Thursday stated that Sabb forced his way into a residence, retrieved a firearm and fired multiple shots into the residence while a female occupant was inside.

Authorities stated the weapon he retrieved from the residence was the one he used during the shooting at the hospital Wednesday morning.

According to Sabb's father, their son's girlfriend took him to the hospital Wednesday morning and they were waiting to get treated. 

"They did everything that they said they was going to do," the father said. "My son sat there for over an hour and my question is, why didn't the hospital, knowing that he was a patient, they already had records of him and his illness, why didn't they secure him in a room?"

If that had been done, the father believes the shooting would never have happened.

Abrian Sabb father

Abrian Sabb, father of suspected Orangeburg hospital shooter Abrian Dayquan Sabb, speaks to media after his son was denied bail at a bond hearing in Orangeburg County Magistrate Court on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Gregory Yee/Staff

Authorities stated that Sabb left the hospital roughly an hour after arriving and returned with the firearm.

Sabb's father elaborated on his son's medical history, saying that he started off on pill-based medication after his schizophrenia diagnosis about two years ago, but was switched to injected medications on a monthly basis because he wasn't consistently taking his pills.

Sabb came to Orangeburg from Georgetown in an effort to escape the youth violence that plagues their area, the father said, adding that his son wanted to get an education and better his life. 

"What you see in that courtroom is not my son," the father said. "My son is not a murderer. He is not a killer. He is not a violent person."

Sabb's father also placed blame on the shortcomings of the South Carolina mental health system, saying that they had been hampered by financial difficulties and by confusing red tape that led to difficulties in confirming treatment appointments and other essential services. 

"I think that is a shame in 2019 in this country that young people are being neglected the way that they are, turned away when they are coming and crying for help," the father said. "And then after everything (goes) bad we want to say, oh he's a killer or he's a murderer — that's not right." 

Ultimately, Sabb's father said what he wants is for his son to get the help he needs and for the victim to recover fully.

He said that he and his family are praying for the victim's recovery.  

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Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.