Four arrested in connection with shots fired in Derby Ridge

Monday, September 21, 2009 | 6:53 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Columbia police arrested four suspects Saturday in connection with reports of shots fired in the Derby Ridge area of Columbia over the weekend.

According to a police news release, Duran T. Griffith, 20, Javion M. Wallace, 20, and Vernell K. Waxter, 25, were riding in a black truck driven by 27-year-old Christopher A. Robinson when one or more occupants fired at a car driven by a 26-year-old man whose name was not disclosed. The man told police he was targeted in the attack while driving to his girlfriend's house in a car he'd borrowed from a friend. Police said they did not believe the man was the intended victim.

The man was not injured.

Responding officers reported that gunshots also hit the back door of a residence at 1305 Omaha Court and damaged parked cars.

Griffith, Wallace, Waxter and Robinson were charged with one count each of first-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action. They were being held Monday  on $500,000 bond at the Boone County Jail.

Columbia Police Officer Jessie Haden stated in the release that the truck is the same vehicle described in a July 31 shooting at 115 Benton St. in Columbia, in which a 15-year-old victim suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Haden said the two shooting incidents are unrelated.

“The individuals don’t have any apparent connections," she said Monday. "These are two incidents where the suspects knew — or thought they knew — the victims. They just happened to borrow the same vehicle.”

In the news release, Haden said that police are still looking for a suspect in the Benton Street shooting: William Darnell McNeary, 24. Police said he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Residents with information on either of the shootings are encouraged to call CrimeStoppers at 875-TIPS or go to Information leading to an arrest may lead to a reward of up to $1,500 and will be kept anonymous.

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Charles Dudley Jr September 22, 2009 | 4:30 a.m.

Throw away the dam key and be done with them or bring back the old chain gangs and still throw away the dam key to their shackles.

Judges need to get far more tough than they have been in the past on these types of cases.

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