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Friday, October 31, 2014

Multiple shots-fired incidents linked to gang activity

Police have identified one suspect.

March 22, 2011

Four shot-fired incidents occurred March 15 and March 16 as a result of local gang activity, a Columbia Police Department news release stated.

“We believe it’s a local gang that is shooting at each other,” CPD spokeswoman Latisha Stroer said. “They keep moving throughout the city in vehicles, and they keep changing vehicles.”

Officers inspected a vehicle that had been shot several times March 15 in the evening at Primrose Drive, the news release stated.

The uninjured victim reported he was leaving a friend’s house and had used the entrance ramp from the Interstate-70 and Highway 63 connector heading westbound. Shortly after merging on Interstate-70, he pulled alongside a large black Dodge Ram style truck traveling in the passing lane. He passed the truck, heard a noise and saw some debris at the front of his vehicle and his driver side window shattered.

Officers inspected the victim’s vehicle and found damage on its left side, the release stated. They observed numerous bullet rounds, starting at the rear quarter panel and going to the front hood of the vehicle. There were approximately seven to eight holes in the vehicle, all caused by gunfire.

“We do believe the shootings are related to the other three shootings from the 16th,” Stroer said. “We believe the victim was not the intended target.”

The second incident occurred March 16 at 4:55 p.m., when officers were dispatched to the area of Worley and Pennant Streets, another news release stated. CPD received multiple reports of shots-fired and spoke with several people who confirmed hearing the shots. Officers located a vehicle that was damaged by gunfire, but the vehicle belonged to an uninvolved person.

No one was injured in the incident. Police have identified Jordan Smith as a suspect in the incident. Smith is described as 5-feet-8-inches tall, 145 pounds and driving an older model white pickup truck. Smith is wanted for first-degree assault and armed criminal action.

Officers were dispatched at about 6:13 p.m. to a second shots-fired incident on March 16 in the area of Circus Avenue and Rogers Street. This was the third of four incidents CPD said they believe are related, a news release stated.

“Again witnesses reported hearing multiple shots and additionally reported seeing a black male exit a vehicle and begin shooting at an unknown target,” the news release stated. “No one was injured in this incident either. Shell casings were recovered at the scene.”

Police responded to a third report of shots-fired at 8:20 p.m on March 16. Officers were sent to the area of Aztec Boulevard and Ballenger Lane and spoke with multiple witnesses who reported hearing shots and a vehicle leaving the area at a high rate of speed.

CPD is aware of the gang it suspects is causing the incidents, because similar incidents have happened before.

“They’ve been around for a little while,” Stroer said. “Of course they’ve changed names and reformed, and they’ll change names again. That’s why we’ve not released a name, because we don’t want to glorify it.”

Investigators ask that if anyone has information regarding the crimes to call police, or Crime Stoppers at 875-TIPS (875-8477).

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