Man accused in drive-by shooting arrested in Tennessee

Friday, November 6, 2009 | 5:18 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — A Columbia man accused of shooting a 15-year-old boy last summer was arrested Oct. 28 in Knoxville, Tenn.

William Darnell McNeary, 24, was arrested on charges of criminal impersonation, unlawful possession of a weapon and simple possession. Knoxville police found McNeary with a .40-caliber handgun and crack cocaine, Columbia Police Department spokeswoman Jessie Haden said. When arrested, he lied about his name, Haden said.

McNeary was wanted in Missouri on charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action in connection with the July 31 shooting.

According to a probable cause statement, the 15-year-old was walking along Benton Street between Jefferson Street and Garth Avenue when McNeary pulled up in a truck. McNeary said, "What up now," and then pulled out a handgun, pointed it out the passenger-side window at the boy and fired three times, the statement said. The boy was struck in both legs and in the right hand, police said, and McNeary drove away.

Police later found the truck McNeary had been driving and discovered two spent casings from a .45-caliber handgun inside the passenger compartment. After being arrested, McNeary denied knowing anything about the incident. According to the probable cause statement, written by Detective John Short, “McNeary was released due to the fact I was unable to talk to the victim at that time, (who was) recovering from surgery.”

The next day, the boy identified McNeary in a photo lineup “immediately” and said he had seen McNeary drive by his house in the truck the day before, police said. A warrant was then issued for McNeary’s arrest on the felony charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action. His bond was set at $200,000.

In Missouri, McNeary was on probation for a 2007 conviction of unlawful use of a weapon.

When McNeary was arrested in Knoxville last week, he had a .40-caliber handgun — a different caliber from the casings found in McNeary’s truck — in his possession, Haden said. Haden said McNeary would face his charges in Tennessee first, saying she had “no idea” when McNeary might be extradited back to Missouri.


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