Charges dropped against Columbia man accused of shooting into crowd on Broadway

Friday, September 20, 2013 | 5:00 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Charges were dropped Friday against Eric Cravens, who was arrested in connection with a June 15 shooting downtown.

Cravens had been charged with three counts of first-degree assault and one count of armed criminal action for the shooting in which a 19-year-old man and two 23-year-old men were shot, according to previous Missourian reporting. None of the victims' injuries were life threatening.

The shooting took place in downtown Columbia near the intersection of Tenth Street and East Broadway. In a video taken during the incident, a large crowd of people can be seen crossing the intersection. The crowd quickly disperses after several shots were fired.

Cravens' attorney, Jennifer Bukowsky, said surveillance video proved her client wasn't even at the scene when the shots were fired.

"My client was downtown in Columbia at night but left well before the shootings took place," Bukowsky said. "We had witnesses corroborating that he had left."

Those witnesses said they drove Cravens home prior to the shooting. They said they stopped at a Break Time gas station near his home on Clark Lane, dropped him off and went to a nearby Taco Bell.

Bukowsky collected surveillance footage from both Break Time and Taco Bell that placed Cravens' friends' vehicle at both locations.

Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Tracy Gonzalez said after further investigation, there was not enough evidence to proceed with the case.

"It became apparent to the state that there was not going to be enough evidence to go forward," she said.

Gonzalez said the Columbia Police Department was continuing to investigate the shooting.

"It's an on-going investigation," she said.

Cravens was arrested in June after what Columbia Police Department spokesman Joe Bernhard  in a news release called a "determined and methodical investigation."

Bernhard did not return calls Friday afternoon about any new suspects in the shooting.

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