COLUMBIA — Police on Monday continued investigating two shootings that occurred early Sunday morning at different locations.
Early Monday afternoon, police spokeswoman Jill Wieneke said officers had not determined whether the shootings were related.
The first shooting was reported at 12:30 a.m. Sunday at Town & Country Lanes bowling alley, 1508 N. Providence Road. Police said the shooting involved two men who witnesses said were involved in a verbal argument inside the bowling alley. The two continued the argument outside, police said, and witnesses then heard shots fired. The first officers on the scene saw "multiple cars" leave the area upon arrival, police reported.
The south doors of Town & Country Lanes were shot, and the Break Time convenience store located south of the bowling alley was also damaged, police reported, and several shell casings were retrieved from the parking lot.
Two males, ages 15 and 16, were also involved in what police believe was a gang-related shooting at 2:35 a.m. Sunday.
Police gave this account:
The teenagers were walking in the area of Wilkes Boulevard near the railroad tracks when a dark-colored minivan slowly drove by. The van door then opened, and someone began shooting at the two young men.
The victims called someone and were taken to the emergency room at Boone Hospital Center. One victim was shot in the arm; the other was shot in the thigh. Injuries are not life-threatening, police said, and their condition on Monday was unknown.
"Based on the interviews conducted in the course of this investigation, it is believed the shooting is gang-related and not a random act," according to a police news release.
Boone County Sheriff's deputies located the suspect vehicle in the 700 block of Demaret Drive about 9 a.m. Sunday after a citizen reported a suspicious vehicle, police said.