Police investigate death at Welcome Inn

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is investigating a death at Welcome Inn on 1612 Providence Road Thursday night as a homicide. 

On Friday morning, Public Information Officer Bryana Larimer said in an email the male victim was found with an apparent gunshot wound. 

Officers were originally dispatched at around 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in response to a cardiac arrest. A witness called the police after finding the man dead in his room.

Larimer said in a release on Thursday, "officers located a male, alone, inside a room of the business."

Larimer said the man was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel. 

Detectives are currently working with the Criminal Investigations Division, the Crime Scene Investigator, and Patrol officers.

According to a release from the police department, detectives have requested a search warrant for the room where the man was located. 

Lu Melson, a witness, told our reporter she was at Welcome Inn visiting her mom when she called 911. Melson said her mom lives right next door to the victim. Melson said a woman frantically told her to call 911.

After she called 911, Melson saw the body of a man who was by himself. 

"The man was just laying there with like toilet paper in his mouth, with like, I don't know if it's like gunshot wounds or what not," Melson said. "But he was just laying there by himself."

Melson said officers said the man was a 40-year-old man who was a long time resident of Welcome Inn.

The police department was LIVE on Periscope. See video below. 

According to the release, the identity of the man will not be released until his family has been notified. Police are still investigating. 

If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Columbia Police Department, or call CrimeStoppers at (573) 875-TIPS.