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UPDATE: Police investigate north Columbia shooting death

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 | 3:32 p.m. CDT; updated 9:17 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Police found a man dead in a residence on the 900 block of West Texas Avenue on Tuesday.

UPDATE: Police identified the victim of the shooting as Derrick Brookins, 44, on Wednesday.

COLUMBIA — Police found a man dead inside a residence in north Columbia on Tuesday afternoon after a report of several shots fired, Columbia police spokeswoman Latisha Stroer said.

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Officers were dispatched at 1:39 p.m. to 920 W. Texas Ave. There was no additional information about the deceased, Stroer said shortly after 3 p.m. Police were investigating the death as a homicide.

Police were looking for a green Chevrolet Impala that had more than one person inside when it left the scene of the shooting.

Two people were being held at the police station for questioning, Stroer said Tuesday afternoon.

It's unknown whether the shootings occurred inside or outside the residence, Stroer said, but they are looking for shell casings in both locations.

There was no further information on the number of people involved in the incident on Tuesday evening.

Mike Chambers, who lives on Sondra Avenue across the street from the apartment building, said he heard about six gunshots and alerted police of the incident.

"I was cleaning, getting ready to mow my grass. I was kinda bent over, and then I heard them shots," Chambers said. "Two men ran out (of the building), they looked at me and I looked at them, and I just stepped back in case they pulled out a gun — I could get behind something."

One of the men got in the backseat of the Chevrolet "and he was yelling 'Go, go, go, go!'" Chambers said.

Some neighbors said this was an unusual incident for the normally peaceful neighborhood.

"I think we have really good neighbors, and I think it was just a fluke," said Adela Caratti, who lives a few blocks away from where the shooting occurred. "This was out of the ordinary. You don't hear noises here."

One resident said she felt unsafe in the neighborhood after the incident.

"This morning I walked around here — around the neighborhood," resident Shayla Riley said. "It makes you scared that something could happen because you want to feel safe in your own neighborhood."

Many of the residents have young children who got off school buses at the corner next to the residence where the shooting occurred. Two elementary school students ran toward the caution tape and police warned them off.

Parents were not notified about the shooting and didn't know to collect their children from the bus stop.

"They didn't send an alert out but they should've," Caratti said.

This is the fourth homicide investigation in Columbia since Jan. 1, 2014, Stroer said in an email.

Additional reporting by Missourian reporter Joe Guszkowski.

Supervising editor is Elise Schmelzer.


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