COLUMBIA — After a downtown shooting left two injured, businesses and students expressed concerns about safety downtown.
Officers responded to reports of a shooting in the 100 block of S. Ninth St. at 12:20 a.m. Sunday, according to a news release from Columbia Police.
Police found two victims with gunshot wounds, a 31 year-old male and a 33 year-old female. No additional information has been released.
"This is obviously something we take very seriously," said Nickie Davis, executive director of The District. "Unfortunately it is something that tends to happen this time of year."
Davis said she's worked with Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones and many bars and restaurants who were close to the shooting Sunday morning.
Rick Robertson, the owner of Booche's on Ninth St., said he's concerned with how close the shooting was to his business. Booche's closed at 10 p.m. Saturday, but he worries that this sort of incident could happen during regular business hours.
"I'm certainly no expert but I would love to see more police," Robertson said. "Especially it being Homecoming, there were so many people out on the street."
Robertson said he wasn't surprised that the shooting happened, but he hopes that with more patrol downtown, Columbia Police can get a handle on it.
"I want there to be enough emphasis on safety in downtown Columbia that people can come out at night and go 'I feel safe' at all hours," Robertson said. "Until we accomplish that, we haven't really accomplished anything."
Robertson said that he heard the victim got as far as Booche's before collapsing after the shots were fired.
One MU student who was in the area at the time of shooting said this was not the first time she's had incidents like this happen.
"It just really freaks me out, especially since I live so close to that area," MU student Tori Trammell said. "It makes me scared to go out or even just to be walking alone at night, even with friends, especially since I was so close this last time to the gunshots."
Trammell said she will never walk alone and get a ride from someone instead of potentially risking walking downtown by herself.
Trammell also said she was surprised there was no MU alert about the shooting.
Sara Diedrich, public safety information specialist for MU Police, said in a statement the department determined there wasn't an immediate and ongoing threat.
"Many factors go into making that decision. MUPD works closely with other area emergency agencies to gather as much information as quickly as possible before making its decision," Diedrich said.
Davis offered some general safety tips safety tips that people can follow.
"I think honestly the best thing you can do just like anywhere else is beware of your surroundings, Davis said. "If you see a crowd getting too rowdy it might be time to move to a different location."
Davis said that it's important to be aware of how busy places are and how many bouncers are in each bar or restaurant.
The Community Improvement District Board of Directors will meet Tuesday, and is expected to discuss the recent gun violence in the area and how the city plans to make the area safer.
"Hopefully, the board will get some good answers from CPD and get any questions we might have answered and try to find a path forward in a way to make everyone feel safe down here," Davis said.
A plan for more lights downtown might be on the agenda as well. Davis said the board has paid the city $30,000 to get the lights installed, but it is still waiting for the city to install them.
"The thing with these lights is they can be turned on to a degree that looks like daylight which essentially helps disperse late night crowds," Davis said.
Columbia Police said that the department usually assigns more officers to downtown and other areas during game days, but the number varies. The department said it is looking to add more officers in the future.
The department recommends that if anyone is downtown and sees something suspicious, they report it.
This is an ongoing investigation. KOMU will continue to provide updates as they become available.