Hundreds gather to pray for student hit by stray bullet - FOX Carolina 21

Hundreds gather to pray for student hit by stray bullet

Posted: Updated:
Martha Childress Martha Childress
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Hundreds of University of South Carolina students gathered Monday night to pray and comfort each other after one of their fellow classmates was wounded by a stray bullet in Five Points over the weekend.

The crowd that gathered at the Strom Thurmond athletics fields near Blossom Street included 18-year-old Martha Childress' Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sisters.

Childress remains in critical condition, but is resting comfortably in an area hospital. Investigators say the freshman is paralyzed.

Childress, who is from Easley, posted a message on Twitter to show her appreciation for the support the community has offered. "Thanks to everyone who's kept me in their constant thoughts and prayers through this difficult time. The support means so much to me."

Childress was wounded by a stray bullet around 2:30 Sunday morning while standing with a group of people near the Five Points fountain awaiting a taxi cab.

The man police believe fired the bullet, 21-year-old Michael Juan Smith, is behind bars without bond. Police said Smith fired at two unknown men he was arguing with. The bullet hit Childress instead.

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