Some Columbia residents living in fear as gun violence intensifies
COLUMBIA - Four people were shot in three separate gun-related crimes this weekend in separate parts of Columbia.
Monday police arrested Keaveon Zaniyah Harris, 18, of Columbia for a weapons-related incident on Claudell Lane. The Columbia Police Department responded to shots fired in the early morning hours Saturday on Claudell Lane after receiving multiple calls of heard gunshots. Officers found shell casings and a home struck by gunfire.
For some living in the northwest Columbia neighborhood and in the neighboring Columbia Square Apartments, gun violence and shootings are not uncommon.
Laura Hosmer heard bullets outside her Claudell Lane home and took cover with her two-year-old.
“I heard the shots last weekend as I was going to bed. I just got my son and we laid on the floor for a few hours until we thought it was safe enough to get back in bed.”
On Sunday, three people were hospitalized for gunshot wounds after a triple shooting on Business Loop 70 at Ruckus Bar & Grill.
A third shooting incident occurred over the weekend on Rolling Rock Drive. CPD has since arrested Darren Devon Carter, 22, and Deandre Tyrone Winters, 20, for tampering with evidence in that investigation. The victim of that shooting remains in critical condition.
CPD shows a steady increase in homicides since last year. The number of homicides has doubled from August 2016 to August 2017.
For Hosmer and her neighbors in the Business Loop area - gun violence remains a regular occurrence. Neighbor Helen Zaio said she’s “terrified” and “afraid anytime someone knocks on my door.”
“It was terrifying, if they’re shooting back there who’s to say a bullet won’t come through a window in my bedroom, my kitchen? I don’t know where the shots are coming from, you can never tell,” said neighbor Helen Zaio.
Zaio has lived in Columbia for 15 years and has multiple grandchildren. She said she fears for their safety and won’t take them to the community park down the street, even in daylight hours because it’s too dangerous.
“When I moved here I thought Columbia was the place to be, but I guess it’s not,” she said.
Zaio said things are getting worse and the police aren’t doing enough in the area.
“I have no idea whats they’re doing. They’re not protecting people. I don’t know what the police are doing.”
CPD spokesperson Bryana Larimer told KOMU she did not have time for an interview Monday.