Posted on Aug 31, 2023

Authorities have apprehended a woman in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred late in the evening on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at an apartment complex in Spartanburg. Local law enforcement was alerted to the incident around 9 p.m., at which point they rushed to the College Pointe Apartments near the University of South Carolina's Upstate campus, situated at 1200 College Point Lane.

Upon reaching the scene, officers discovered a 21-year-old male, later identified as Tyquirez Rashad Sims, lying on the sidewalk with a life-threatening gunshot wound to his head. The young man was not a student at the nearby university, according to official confirmation from the institution.

The Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police stated that the department is committed to cooperating fully with investigators while extending their sympathies to the victim's family.

After gathering statements from multiple witnesses at the location, law enforcement officials pinpointed Zaria Aiyanna Owens, a 23-year-old resident of Moore, as the prime suspect. Officers later found Owens' vehicle at a different apartment complex within the city limits.

Taking matters into her own hands, Owens surrendered to the sheriff’s office early Tuesday morning. Despite her attempts to argue self-defense, discrepancies in her account and evidence collected at the scene contradicted her claims.

Investigative authorities also revealed that Owens took possession of Sims' phone and firearm before shooting him as he walked away. As of Wednesday afternoon, the investigators confirmed the recovery of Sims' phone, although the murder weapon remains missing.

Adding another layer of tragedy to the situation, Sims' family disclosed that he was the father of a six-month-old child.

Owens now faces a litany of charges, including murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Additional charges of third-degree assault and battery by a mob, along with criminal conspiracy, have also been leveled against her, stemming from previous warrants issued by the Spartanburg Police Department. A judge has since denied Owens the option of bail.

Pursuing a Negligent Security Case in South Carolina After a Shooting at an Apartment Complex

If you have been impacted by a shooting at an apartment complex in South Carolina, you may be grappling with more than just emotional trauma and medical bills. You may also be considering legal action against those responsible for securing the property. We’ll discuss negligent security cases in South Carolina in greater detail below so you can get a basic understanding of the road that lies ahead.

What is Negligent Security?

Negligent security is a subset of premises liability law. In this context, property owners or managers could be held accountable for foreseeable criminal activities that occur on their premises. Some common examples of negligent security at an apartment complex could include poor lighting in hallways, lack of security personnel, or non-functional surveillance cameras.

Steps to Pursue a Negligent Security Case

  • Consult an Attorney: Given the complexity of negligent security cases, it is crucial to consult an experienced negligent security attorney that handles cases against apartment complexes.
  • Document the Incident: Preserve any evidence related to the shooting, such as photographs of the scene, eyewitness accounts, or any communication with the property owners or managers.
  • Identify the Defendants: Typically, the defendants in a negligent security case could be the property owner, management company, or even a third-party security service.
  • File the Lawsuit: Once you have sufficient evidence and have identified the responsible parties, your attorney will help you file a lawsuit, outlining the basis of your negligent security claim.
  • Settlement or Trial: Many cases reach a settlement before going to trial. However, if an agreeable settlement isn't achieved, be prepared to take your case to court.

Proving Negligence

To win a negligent security case, you'll need to prove that the property owner failed in their duty to provide a safe environment for tenants and guests and that this failure directly led to the incident. You'll also need to show that the crime was foreseeable, meaning prior incidents or common sense could predict such an event might occur.


While no amount of compensation can undo the trauma of a shooting, holding the responsible parties accountable can offer some semblance of justice and protect others in the community. It's essential to consult an attorney skilled in South Carolina’s premises liability laws to guide you through the complexities of filing a negligent security claim.