UPDATE: Firearms, narcotics discovered after seven-hour standoff

Monday, September 24, 2012 | 9:36 p.m. CDT; updated 9:49 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Police and SWAT members arrive at Bonny Linn Drive in northeast Columbia after receiving anonymous reports of people in two vehicles shooting at one another Monday.

COLUMBIA — Forensic evidence officers with the Columbia Police Department discovered narcotics, firearms and ammunition at a home on 3421 Bonny Linn Drive, after a standoff that lasted more than seven hours Monday afternoon.

Police officers obtained a search warrant for the home, according to a news release sent Monday night by the Police Department. No one was found inside the home, according to the release.

Sgt. Jill Schlude of the Columbia Police Department said in a 10 p.m. email that "no additional information is available at this time concerning the evidence."

Police received anonymous reports of people in two vehicles shooting at one another at around 1:14 p.m. Shortly after, police surrounded the house on the cul-de-sac that stems east from Brown Station Road northeast of U.S. 63.

Two SWAT vehicles were dispatched, and throughout the afternoon about a dozen police cruisers arrived at the scene.

"Columbia Police. Come out with your hands up!" was the warning an officer repeated through the bullhorn Monday afternoon.

Police circled the home with yellow crime-scene tape.

Several officers surrounding the house had their weapons drawn and were using riot shields.

Investigators had found 10 shell casings on the ground at the intersection of Lawnridge Court and Brown Station Road, said Lieutenant Christopher Kelley with the Columbia Police Department.

There were also multiple bullet holes in a car near the home at 3421 Bonny Linn Drive, Kelley said. Gunshots had also hit inside two apartments at 2908 Lawnridge Court. No one was hurt, according to the officer.

Supervising editor is Simina Mistreanu.

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Tracy Greever-Rice September 25, 2012 | 7:09 a.m.

This was quite the exciting news story yesterday, but I do have a couple of questions. Both guns and 'narcotics' are legal with permits and prescriptions. The CPD sat for seven hours outside an empty building with their most expensive toys out. Do we know that these 'discoveries' were EBRs and China White or are we talking a Red Ryder and a Tylenol 3 in the med cabinet from a root canal? The CPD communications officer's quote makes it clear that there's not enough info to warrant such titillation at this point...

It's not just the Missourian, the Trib and TV 'news' reports are just as salacious and afactual. And from a PR perspective, I would certainly want to have come up with something/anything to justify spending seven hours standing off with an empty building - so it's pretty normal the CPD is attempting some CYA.

However, if there's "no additional information is available at this time concerning the evidence.", then there's really no story - and no need for implying - and implicating - the residents of this duplex until actual factual info is available.

Some actual humans live in this duplex who may or may not have just fundamentally screwed up their lives. Local media will have ample time to publicly pillory them, should they be guilty - or even reasonably suspicious of being guilty, once evidence becomes more clear. Why start the process with nothing but CPD-released info that is intentionally vague?

Until more information is available that can be validated by uninvolved parties, local media appear dangerously close to being complicit in manufacturing this story rather than reporting it. While I expect nothing more or less from local commercial media, a true 'teachable moment' exists for the J-school outlets.

(Report Comment)
Katherine Reed September 25, 2012 | 9:20 a.m.

Tracy, this is Katherine Reed, and I'm the public safety editor here at the Missourian, as you know. I wanted to address your assertion that we have sensationalized this story and that we should have waited to report anything at all. We're very careful not to sensationalize crime stories, and I don't think we sensationalized this one. We have an obligation to explain to the public — as best we can with the information available at the time — what's happening in the community, such as a large gathering of law enforcement personnel and vehicles around a home. When people wonder, "What was going on there?" we want them to find some kind of answer in the Missourian. We also intend to follow up on this story when more information is available, as we have been assured it will be in this case. Sometimes, in my experience, police withhold information because they must, and I believe that was the case in this situation.

(Report Comment)
Tom Dresner September 25, 2012 | 6:25 p.m.

Dr. Greever-Rice, how is it that you're in a position to know what's factual and "afactual" (without facts? Really?) regarding a police event, where in the short span of time that Ms. Reed had to perform her responsibilities, she had limited information provided by the police, same as you would have had if you we're a subscriber to their press releases?

While Katherine has already well made her case for the article as is, what is it about your frame of reference that causes you to first assume that the narcotics mentioned might be something as innocuous as Tylenol 3? Do police routinely seize Tylenol 3? I seriously doubt it.

This residence was associated with the possible commission of a violent crime. Why not take a breath, and wait for more information before you commence your "pillory" of the Missourian?

(Report Comment)

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