Police: One suspect dead, 5 injured in Sunday 'mass casualty' shooting in downtown Columbia – KOMU 8 Leave a comment

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A second gunman has not been located. They were last seen running north on Fifth Street, according to CPD.
COLUMBIA –  One gunman is dead and five people are injured after what officials are calling a mass casualty shooting in downtown Columbia early Sunday morning. 
It happened in the 10th block of North Fifth Street around 3 a.m., outside of Vibez lounge. 
During a community briefing Sunday morning, Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones said officers were patrolling in the immediate area of Vibez when they heard gunshots and saw two people engaging in gunfire.
The first gunman, a 30-year-old Black male according to Jones, ran south on Fifth Street and was shooting north toward a crowd of people. The gunman rounded a corner and turned west into an alley. Two officers ran after him and shot and killed him, Jones said.
The man’s name was not released, but next of kin has been notified.
Jones said a second gunman has not been located. They were last seen running north on Fifth Street. 
Five other individuals were hurt by gunfire. They were provided trauma care by emergency responders. One person was transported to a local hospital and had emergency surgery, according to Jones. The individuals are all in stable condition at this time.
“It concerns me deeply to speak of a mass casualty incident in Columbia, Missouri,” Chief Jones said. He described a mass casualty event as “anytime when we have multiple people at one incident and multiple ambulances are needed.”
The Missouri State Highway Patrol has opened an investigation into the deadly incident and into the two officers involved. Jones said the two officers will not work the streets during the investigation. 
There have been multiple reported shootings outside of Vibez. Chief Jones said he is now “laser focused on Vibez” after he was asked if he would shut the lounge down.
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Another reporter asked Chief Jones what the “police plan to do when going forward, when shootings are happening even with a clear police presence [downtown].”
“This isn’t a police-only issue. It’s a community issue that’s going to take responsible business owners, responsible community partners. That’s in The District and outside. This doesn’t just happen downtown. As a matter of fact, this is pretty out of the ordinary, that’s why it’s drawn so much attention. But we need people to work together to get where we need to be,” Jones said. “Part of this is people have gone to guns instead of fighting. When I was young, people used to fight. Now they pull guns on each other. I think it’s an act of cowardice. Honestly it infuriates me that people have to pull guns on each other to solve an issue.”
The owner of Vibez lounge spoke at the briefing and asked why he was “getting blamed for something happening on city grounds.”
“This issue does not happen on the inside of my bar. The issue happens on the streets,” the owner said. “I don’t want anything to happen to anyone. Life is a precious thing to have, you know. I have five children. I don’t want anything to happen to anyone.”
Jones replied and said “You can mischaracterize our conversations all you want, but I said that it is your responsibility to keep violence out of your bar.”
Columbia Mayor Brian Treece said bar owners and property owners need to address the ongoing violence.
“The police are doing their job, but it takes the rest of us to do our job. The property owner, not necessarily the business owner… We have a zero tolerance model for when it comes to residential apartment leases,” Treece said. “If there’s gun violence on that property, they’re out.”
“I think it’s time for bar owners and their property owners need to have the same zero tolerance policy,” Treece continued. “Five shootings at Vibez, multiple shootings up the street. Everybody needs to take part in their responsibility to get these folks out. Because if there’s guns, alcohol and students… that’s a potent cocktail that doesn’t mix.”
Treece said the city is working with the university on the common denominators: drink specials, over-serving and underage drinking.
“If you’re creating an environment where people are getting killed and hurt, we’re going to shut it down,” Treece said.
The chief also said he was frustrated with the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which says the federal government should not interfere in state gun laws. Jones said it has frustrated CPD’s ability to partner with other agencies to stop criminal behavior.
This story is developing and will be updated.
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