Shootings Continue and the Community Clams Up
COLUMBIA - Another shooting last night in Columbia near the intersection of Woodlawn Avenue and Worley Street terrifies some community members and they're outraged with police reactions.
Police said the shooting Monday night is linked to the recent gang violence over the past two months.
A witness to the incident said two cars came speeding down Woodlawn Avenue firing at each other. No one was harmed, but bullets struck a truck and a nearby tree. The witness and police identified one of the cars as a black sedan.
When police came to investigate, the witness, who asked KOMU to withoold her name for her and her families safety, said police treated the incident as if it were a trivial matter. She said they never looked for where the bullets struck and at times laughed about the situation.
She says she's outraged because she thinks the Columbia Police Department treats the matter as if it were a high school rivalry. She said the violence is much worse than that and that community and police do not realize the extent of the terror.
"Many people at the police department think this isn't a big deal but when bullets start flying, it's a terrifying feeling," said the anonymous witness. "My kids could have been killed. Who is going to die before police take this seriously?"
The witness said many neighbors in the block are good people, but there are one or two houses responsible. Because of this danger, she said many of the residents won't leave their homes.
"There are attacks in broad daylight," she said. "No time is safe. The car chase that happened yesterday was in broad daylight."
KOMU talked to many people in the neighborhood. Many were upset but refused to appear on camera because they feared retaliation from the gang members.
Police say they know who the shooters are, but they cannot make arrests yet because they have no first hand witness testimonies or hard evidence. This makes the neighbors mad.
"Why can't the police do something about this?" asked another woman in the neighborhood. "The shootings won't stop until the police get these thugs off our streets."
The Columbia Police Department said they are working diligently to solve the problem. They said they are looking into other charges filed against the suspects. The police said they hope this will show outstanding warrants on the shooters, allowing the police to make arrests and "get them off our streets."