Columbia police officer shot at; 1 suspect still at large

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 | 2:52 p.m. CDT; updated 5:47 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 8, 2010

COLUMBIA — A Columbia police officer was shot at while pursuing two people who were playing loud music in their car early Tuesday.

The officer was not injured.

At 2 a.m., Officer Bethany Sapp and Sgt. Michael Hestir were on patrol on Sexton Road near Madison Street when Hestir heard loud music coming from a car, which he described as a 1996 Mitsubishi Diamante. Hestir, who was on foot, radioed Sapp and told her about the disturbance.

Sapp, who was in her squad car at the time, located the car and began to follow it, activating the emergency lights near Mary Street to signal the car to pull over. The Diamante turned onto Woodlawn Avenue and sped up. Sapp continued to pursue the car until the Diamante came to a rolling stop between Woodlawn and North Providence Road and two men jumped out.

Sapp got out of her car and was running after the men when she heard a distinct gunshot and smelled gunpowder. She ran back to her car and radioed for backup.

Other officers arrived quickly and resumed the search for the two men.

Shortly after, one suspect, Sidney M. Gates, 26, of Columbia, was arrested in the 700 block of North Providence.

Police said Gates had diazepam (Valium) and several hundred dollars in his possession. He was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, distribution of drugs and possession of unlawful weapons. 

A .45 caliber gun that police believe was used to shoot at Sapp was found near 705 N. Providence Road with the help of the Boone County K-9 unit.

“We have a huge appreciation for the county for assisting us because that dog led us right to the gun,” said Public Information Officer Jessie Haden.




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