DNA evidence help Columbia PD link suspect to 2015 murder

COLUMBIA,SC (WOLO)- Three years after a midlands 14 year old was gunned down while walking home, his family is finally getting a little bit of closer.

On July 3,2015 Najeer Buggs was walking with his cousin from the basketball court when he was fatally shot.

“It’s just heartless, it’s cruel,” Lawanda Buggs, the victims mother said. “I’m just glad they got someone.”

Najeer is described as the joker of the Buggs family.

“He didn’t have problems with anyone all throughout his life,” Lawada said. “He’s never been in a fight.”

Now Najeer is a victim of gun violence.

“If their was a definition of an innocent victim Najeer would be that,” Chief Skip Holbrook said.

Columbia Police tracking down the shooter through DNA evidence.

“Between technology, a spirit of corporation and investigators that truly have skin in the game, we don’t consider any case cold,” Holbrook said.

The suspect, Leonard Mickens, 28, is already behind bars for another murder in Lexington County. Police say Mickens used the same gun in both murders.

“This is a textbook example of what you can achieve of multi-agency cooperation and collaboration,” Holbrook said. “When it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.”

Mickens has been linked to 6 shootings, two of them fatal.

“He was literally what I would consider to be a walking crime spree, but not anymore,” Holbrook said.

“He gone get what he deserve,” Lawanda said. “What I want to say, I’m not going to say.”

As the Buggs family begin the healing process, officers ask the communiy to step up.

“I would use this incident as a wake up call to everyone,” Holbrook said. “If you see something you’ve got to say something. The community has got to be apart of the solution in taking back their neighborhoods.”

“We got closer. My family needed it,” Lawanda said. “I needed it. He can rest.”

Categories: Local News, News