South Carolina Store Owner Charged With Murder After Shooting Of 14-Year-Old Boy

14-year-old Cyrus Carmack-Belton was allegedly chased, shot, and killed by the owner of a convenience store on May 28, 2023. Rick Chow, 58, has since been charged with his murder.

June 05, 2023
On Sunday, May 28th, Cyrus Carmack-Belton, 14, was shot and killed outside of a convenience store in Columbia, South Carolina.

14-year-old Cyrus Carmack-Belton was allegedly chased, shot, and killed by the owner of a convenience store on May 28, 2023. Rick Chow, 58, has since been charged with his murder.

Photo by: GoFundMe


Cyrus Carmack-Belton, a 14-year-old Black middle school student, went into an Xpress Mart Shell convenience store in Columbia, South Carolina at around 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, 2023. The boy picked up four bottles of water from a cooler while in the store, then he put them back. After this, Rick Chow, the 58-year-old store owner, confronted Carmack-Belton and accused him of stealing, although police who reviewed surveillance footage say the boy didn’t steal anything.

After the false accusation, Carmack-Belton was apparently fearful and fled. Chow and his son then followed and chased the child. Chow was armed with a pistol during the chase, according to CNN. At one point, Carmack-Belton fell after he ran out of his shoe, but he stood back up and kept running.

“At some point, the son said … that the victim had a gun – and we did recover a gun that was close to his body. At that point, the father shot the young man in the back,” stated the sheriff’s department in the incident report.

While the boy was running away, Chow allegedly pulled out his Glock 30S and shot Carmack-Belton in the back.

"It's senseless. It doesn't make sense. We have a family that's grieving. We have a community that's grieving over a 14-year-old that was shot," Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said in a press conference.

Explaining how the child wasn’t threatening the store owner and his son, Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford told USA Today, "There’s no evidence showing that he was waving that gun around, there's no evidence showing he was brandishing it in any capacity.”

Carmack-Belton was shot once in his right lower back as he fled. Although a bystander tried to perform lifesaving measures on the child, he died from the gunshot wound, and his death was ruled a homicide.

According to ABC News 4, State Rep. Todd Rutherford, who is serving as the Carmack-Belton family’s attorney, said in a statement that he is fighting to ensure that this part of history isn’t whitewashed or forgotten. He added, “This isn’t an anomaly, but I know America can be better. And that is what we’re fighting for. Because no family should have to deal with this in 2023.”

Chow has been arrested and charged in the boy’s murder. He is being held without bond at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

The Rutherford Law Firm has set up a GoFundMe page to help Cyrus Carmack-Belton’s family with funeral and memorial costs.

Next Up

Oregon Man Arrested For 1974 Cold Case Murders Of Two Teen Boys

In 1974, Steven Paul Criss allegedly shot and killed two teenagers in Washington County, Oregon. Two years later, in 1976, he killed his commanding officer in the army with the same gun.

True Crime News Roundup: Teen With ‘Infectiously Positive Aura’ Fatally Stabbed While Tubing Down Wisconsin River

Plus: Georgia college professor accused of killing incoming freshman; jury awards two parents of slain Sandy Hook first grader $4.1 million; South Carolina couple arrested for 2010 cold case murder in Kansas; four Kentucky officers federally charged in connection with Breonna Taylor’s death.

Colorado Teen Shot And Killed While Filming A TikTok Video

On Aug. 7, 2022, Aaliyah Annalyse Ranee Sanchez, 14, was fatally shot while recording a TikTok video with two other girls.

Four Oklahoma Men Left For A Bicycle Ride, Their Dismembered Bodies Were Found A Week Later

A group of Oklahoma men were reported missing after going on a bicycle ride together on Oct. 9, 2022. Less than a week later, their dismembered bodies were pulled from a river.

New York Man’s Murder Charge Vacated After Deceptive Photo Lineup Sent Him To Prison For 18 Years

Sheldon Thomas was arrested after a witness chose the picture of another man with his same name.

Fugitive Captured In Mexico After Deadly Shooting

In August 2022, U.S. Marshals tracked Jonathan Dorado to Tijuana, Mexico where he was arrested and extradited back to the United States. Dorado is behind bars at the Merced County Jail in California where he faces murder and attempted murder charges.

20-Year-Old Woman Fatally Shot After Vehicle Pulled Into Wrong Driveway

A Hebron, New York homeowner has been charged with second-degree murder after he allegedly shot at a car that pulled into his driveway, killing passenger Kaylin Gillis.

Did A Social Media Post Lead To The Robbery And Killing Of Rapper PnB Rock?

The Philadelphia native rapper was shot at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles, California on Sept. 12, 2022.

Teens Arrested In Shooting Death Of Tennessee High School Class President

17-year-old Christine Michael had recently left a basketball game when someone began shooting at the car in which she was riding on Feb. 10.

Suspect Charged With The Delphi Murders Of Two Teen Girls

In February 2017, Liberty German and Abigail Williams were killed while on a hike in Delphi, Indiana. In October 2022, a man was charged with their murders.