COLUMBIA, S.C.  (AP/WVOC) - The parents of the man accused of shooting a University of South Carolina student earlier this month in Five Points have apologized to the victim.

Juanita Smith told The State newspaper that she hates the situation and is praying for 18-year-old Martha Childress every day.  She says her son is also distraught about the shooting.

20-year-old Michael Smith (pictured) is accused of shooting Childress as she waited for a taxi on October 13th.  She was not the intended target, but now is paralyzed below the waist.

The suspect's father, Michael, said his family extends its deepest apologies to Childress and her family.

The Smiths say their son fired after being taunted and hearing the click of guns from a group of men following him.

Meanwhile, Columbia police now say they've identified three “persons of interest” in the case.

Police released surveillance photos of the three men, saying they might have been involved in the shooting, or might have witnessed it.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons tells us so far, two of the “persons of interest” have gone in to talk with investigators while arrangements are being made to meet with the third.