Police seek juvenile suspect in Wednesday night shooting near Jefferson Junior High

Thursday, August 14, 2008 | 2:41 p.m. CDT; updated 7:24 p.m. CST, Friday, February 19, 2010

COLUMBIA - Police said they've identified a minor who could be responsible for shotgun blasts that injured an infant, a 3-year-old and a 14-year-old Wednesday night.

A Columbia Police officer patrolling near Jefferson Junior High School reported two gun shots at 9:32 p.m. Officers responding to the gunshots saw approximately 50 people running from the school's north side, Sgt. Eric White said.

"They tried to get as much information as they could, but no one was cooperating at that time," he said.

Police found shotgun shell hulls on the north side of the school.

Witnesses later said a verbal disturbance had turned physical before the shots were fired. White said police do not know why so many people were gathered by the school.

More than two hours later, a mother told police her children had been struck by pellets from the shotgun while she was walking by the area. She did not seek medical attention because the children - who are 3 years old and less than 1 year old - were not seriously injured, though the pellets did break the skin, the release stated.

Just before midnight, a 14-year-old girl who was struck by one of the shotgun blasts arrived at University Hospital. She had at least five shotgun pellets in her leg, police said.

She could not give any information about the suspects, police said, and she was treated and released.

Some cooperative witnesses helped police identify a "person of interest," White said. Police have not released the person's name because he is a minor. White said police are looking for him.

White said charges against the person who fired the gunshots could include second-degree assault, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.


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