Witness Offers New Details in Downtown Columbia Shooting
COLUMBIA - A manager at Boone Tavern told KOMU Monday his employees physically shoved people involved in a skirmish out the front door early Saturday morning, just minutes before a shooting rang out about a block away.
James Gray said a man ran into the restaurant between 12:30 and 12:45 a.m., which prompted two men from a private party to engage him in a verbal altercation. At that point, Gray said his staff members "pushed everybody out the door," clearing the scene for a few minutes. Gray said the same man re-entered the building again a few minutes later, prompting Boone Tavern employees to again shove people out the door.
Officer Latisha Stroer of the Columbia Police said police responded around 1:00 a.m. to Boone Tavern after receiving a call about a disturbance, arriving to find two large groups separating near the restaurant. She said a suspect then fired shots about 10 to 20 yards away near the Boone County Government Center between Walnut and Ash streets.
Stroer said police have made no arrests yet, though they do have suspects in mind. However, uncooperative witnesses have withheld information and impeded the investigation.
Stroer said the shots damaged parked cars, as well as the government center itself. According to a forensic team, about 20 to 25 shots rang out. Stroer said she considered that number a "significant" amount compared to most cases.