CPD looking into homicide's possible connection to Ahmonta Harris death

Posted on 17 January 2019 at 6:01pm
Story image: CPD looking into homicide's possible connection to Ahmonta Harris death

COLUMBIA – The Columbia Police Department acknowledged Thursday that the homicide may be connected to an early morning homicide in north Columbia and the death of Ahmonta Harris.

Police said they responded to a shots fired call Thursday morning and found 20-year-old Deonte Gainwell with a gunshot wound. He was later pronounced dead.

CPD spokesman Jeff Pitts confirmed the department is reviewing possible links between Harris and Gainwell, due to social media chatter.

Pitts said it’s unclear what the motive is or if there are any ties between the two homicides, but KOMU 8 News heard a CPD lieutenant mentioning the possible connection on scene.

Harris died in November in a house just outside Columbia city limits. At the time, deputies said, Harris broke into a house for a robbery and threatened a 20-year-old resident who was also armed. Harris was subsequently shot and killed. He died at the scene.

Pitts said investigators currently "have no idea of any connection" between the two men.

"We are still currently actively looking into different leads. We are still actively searching for that information and we find out who and why Mr. Gainwell was murdered," he said.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to note that CPD acknowledged a possible connection between the homicide and the death of Ahmonta Harris)