The Daily Gamecock

Suspect identified in July Cook-Out shooting

Man likely connected to Upstate, expected to be charged Read More


Several arrest warrants have recently been issued surrounding a shooting at Cook-Out in late July, according to a release from the Columbia Police Department.

Billy Jo Downs Jr. is expected to be charged with attempted murder, attempted armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and discharging a firearm into an occupied conveyance after a man fired a shot at someone in a car in the Cook-Out parking lot.

At around 9 a.m. on July 21, a man demanded money from the victim, who then attempted to drive away in reverse.

The suspect took aim at the moving vehicle and fired, grazing the victim's shoulder. The victim was treated at a local hospital.

Investigators don't yet know where Downs is, but they think he has connections to the Upstate.

"I'm not sure where he's from or currently lives, but we know he has ties to the Greenville/Spartanburg area," said Jennifer Timmons, a spokeswoman for the Columbia Police Department. "I sent a release up there to some of my media friends to help spread the word about [Downs] in the Upstate, so hopefully we'll get a tip soon."

Downs used to work at Cook-Out, and while Timmons said she was unsure if the victim and suspect knew one another, The Daily Gamecock reported in July that the victim was one of the managers at the restaurant at the time.

Police are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to Downs' arrest.

To send in a tip anonymously:

Call 1-888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372).


Text CRIMES (274637), and begin your messages with “TIPSC.”