UPDATE: Suspect identified, pronounced dead in Columbia officer-involved shooting
COLUMBIA — Around 20 officers responded to an active shooter incident in downtown Columbia Saturday evening. Authorities said that after a chase and shootout, the suspect was hit by officer gunfire, and had been transported by ambulance to University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
In a news release, the Missouri State Highway Patrol identified the suspect as Clarence E. Coats Jr., 41, of Columbia. He was pronounced dead at 7:53 p.m. on Saturday. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday.
A Boone County deputy suffered minor injuries during the shooting, the highway patrol said.
Police and sheriff's deputies first responded to calls of a gunman walking in the 100 block of Oak Street around 6:25 p.m., said Bryana Larimer, public information officer for the Columbia Police Department.
The area — a few blocks to the west of Douglass Park and to the north of the Daniel Boone Regional Library — was closed off by a heavy police presence. Officers advised reporters and passerby to stay away, with at least six police cars and one armored vehicle blocking the road.
Officers first tried to create a perimeter around the man on Oak Street, where callers said he had been walking around firing a gun.
However, he managed to slip past the perimeter and escape into the woods — for a moment.
After a chase, the suspect was found on a nearby rooftop in the 600 block of Garth Avenue, where he engaged in a shootout with police. The shooter was eventually hit, and had to receive treatment from emergency medical services before he was taken to the hospital.
The Columbia Police Department and the Boone County Sheriff's Department will cede authority to the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Division of Drug and Crime Control, which will conduct the remainder of the investigation into the incident.
Now on N. Garth and Sexton. Still no official information. Police are now interviewing bystanders and collecting information @KOMUnews— Madeline McClain (@maddiekmcclain) May 14, 2017
Officer involved shooting in the 600 block of Garth Ave. Media staging area at the intersection of Garth & Worley. Briefing shortly.— ColumbiaPD (@ColumbiaPD) May 14, 2017
[Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include the latest information, including the identity of the suspect. An earlier version of the story incorrectly referred to the referenced public information officer as Latisha Stroer. It was Bryana Larimer, not Stroer. A few spelling errors have also been corrected.]
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