COLUMBIA — A 14-year-old was arrested by Columbia police Wednesday night in connection with the July 23 shooting at the Boone County Fair. The name of the suspect cannot be released because of his age.
Police were tipped off to the whereabouts of the suspect after a Columbia resident saw him riding in a vehicle, Boone County Sheriffs Department Det. Tom O’Sullivan said. The suspect was later arrested at an apartment in the 2300 block of Whitegate Drive.
“He was taken into custody without incident,” O’Sullivan said.
The shooting occurred after a dispute broke out between the shooter and the victim, an 18-year-old male who has since been released from the hospital, during the Boone County Fair.
“There was some kind of friction or animosity between the suspect and the victim,” O’Sullivan said.
It was originally suspected that the shooting was gang related, but O’Sullivan said he was skeptical of that. Although there were other individuals involved in the dispute, the detective said he did not consider the groups to be gangs.
“We’re talking about a culture of ignorance here,” O’Sullivan said, adding that a group of confused teenagers does not necessarily constitute a gang.
Police are not currently seeking any of the others involved in the incident.
As for how the suspect came into possession of a gun, O’Sullivan said it could have happened a number of ways.
“There’s weapons all over the street,” he said.
The suspect is being held on suspicion of first-degree assault, suspicion of second-degree assault, suspicion of armed criminal action, suspicion of leaving the scene of a shooting and two counts of suspicion of unlawful use of a weapon.