COLUMBIA — Early Monday afternoon, friends and neighbors of Donnell G. Coleman, who went by “Klap,” gathered outside a four-unit apartment building on La Porte Avenue in north Columbia. The street was quiet apart from the sounds of children playing and the adults speaking in hushed tones.
Three buildings down, two sheriff's cars were parked outside a similar four-unit residence. Yellow police tape surrounded the building, and one officer emerged carrying a black box into one of the cruisers before driving away.
Coleman was shot and killed late Sunday night after two armed men forcibly entered the apartment where Coleman was staying. A 25-year-old woman and young child also were at the residence at the time, but neither were injured, according to Detective Tom O’Sullivan of the Boone County Sheriff's Department.
The two unidentified men kicked down the front door of the apartment and shot Coleman once before fleeing in a dark sedan, O’Sullivan said.
The Mid-Missouri Major Case Squad began investigating the shooting at 9 a.m. Monday.
“There are officers out on the scene, fanning out and making contact with friends, family and associates trying to find out why anyone would want to do harm to the victim,” O'Sullivan said. “Hopefully we will get a break soon and someone will call in and lead us to who was responsible.”
Coleman was the father of five children, including a week-old infant, said Laundrae Brown, an uncle to two of Coleman's children.
O’Sullivan said the complex where the shooting occurred was generally a quiet area.
“I can’t remember if there has ever been a shooting there before,” O’Sullivan said. “We have had a few problems here and there with flare ups in that area, but nothing that would lead me to characterize it as a place with 24/7 problems.”
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 875-8477.