Police: Potential witnesseses fail to give information about shots fired incident at Douglass Park

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 | 4:26 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — In the latest incident at Douglass Park, police responded to shots fired at 6:50 p.m. Monday.

Several spent shell casings were recovered by officers in the parking lot near the pavilion, according to Public Information Officer Latisha Stroer.

Stroer could not confirm the number of shells found, though KOMU reported there were seven collected. No damages, suspects or victims had been identified, according to a police press release.

This is the most recent incident in the park since a large brawl involving 100 people preceded the shooting death of 17-year-old DeAudre Johnson in March.

Columbia Parks and Recreation had previously locked the gates of the park during certain hours in an attempt to curtail illegal activities occurring on the grounds said to include aggressive panhandling, alcohol abuse and drug use and sales.

In support of that action, police cited statistics, which showed Douglass Park ranked in the top three Columbia parks in calls for service and arrests made in 2011, despite being one of the smallest parks in the system.

The park's gates were unlocked in January following an outcry from residents at a community forum. Community members also met and vowed to work together to curb the rash of illegal activity occurring in the park, rather than rely entirely on police or city intervention.

Following Monday evening's shots fired, several potential witnesses at the scene declined to provide police with any information about the incident, according to the press release.

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