USC Upstate student fires shot in residence hall, arrested, expelled

Thomas Justin Willie
Thomas Justin Willie

SPARTANBURG CO., SC (WSPA) – A University of South Carolina – Upstate student faces charges after campus police say he had a handgun in a residence hall and accidentally discharged the gun.

Thomas Justin Willie, 18,  of Columbia, has been charged with carrying a weapon on school property and discharging a firearm into a dwelling, according to online jail records.

Willis has been expelled from the university, according to a news release from USC Upstate.

Campus officials say the shot was fired Nov. 30 in the Magnolia House residence hall.

According to a police report, a campus officer responded after a student found a spent shell casing in their dorm room and saw bullet holes in the wall of a dorm room.

“When we were notified of this incident last Wednesday our first concern was the safety of our students and then the importance of conducting a thorough investigation,” Chancellor Mary Anne Fitzpatrick said in a statement. “We moved very quickly and are confident that this is an isolated incident.”

Willie was booked into the Spartanburg County Detention Center on Monday.

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