Richard Thiel Evans, 23, of Columbia was arrested Tuesday morning and charged in connection with the shooting of two Columbia police officers during a 9½ -hour span Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
Officer Molly Bowden was shot three times while conducting a routine vehicle stop of a 1998 black Mitsubishi Galant at the corner of Forum and Nifong at 9:50 p.m. Monday. Evans, the lone person in the vehicle, reportedly shot at Bowden with a handgun. Columbia Police Chief Randy Boehm said the shot missed Bowden, who then ducked behind Evans’ vehicle. Boehm said Evans walked to the back of the car and shot Bowden. While she was on the ground, Evans shot her two more times at close range, Boehm said. One bullet hit Bowden in the neck and two hit her in the upper torso. All three shots were located above the bullet proof vest she was wearing. Two people driving east on Nifong spotted Officer Bowden lying on the ground and notified police dispatcher of the officer’s injuries. Bowden said she was taken to University Hospital where she is listed in stable but critical condition.
Evans fled the scene, driving east on Nifong. He abandoned his vehicle on Santiago St. and fled.
A warrant was issued today at approximately 2:30 am when Kevin Crane, Boone County Prosecuting Attorney, charged Evans with one count first degree assault on a law enforcement officer and one count armed criminal action.
At 7:31am., two officers surveying Evans' parent’s residence spotted the suspect and pursued him on foot. During the pursuit, Evans fired one round from a handgun at Officer Curtis Brown, striking Brown in the right bicep. Evans then shot himself in the head.
Both Brown and Evans were transported to University Hospital and Clinics for treatment. Brown is listed in stable condition. Evans is listed in critical condition.
At a news conference today, Boehm said police had recovered a handgun but had no information about the gun. He could not give specifics about evidence. Boehm said he did not know why Evans reacted in such a manner but there is indication that Evans was involved with drugs.
First degree assault of a law enforcement officer is a class A felony and is punishable with a minimum of 10 years to life in prison. Armed criminal action carries a minimum prison sentence of three years.
Bowden is 26 years old and has been a Columbia Police Officer for three years. Her husband, Corey Bowden, is also an officer for the Columbia Police Department.
Brown is 36 years old and has been a Columbia Police Officer for four years.
Evans is 23 years old. He was arrested in 2003 for possession of less than 35 grams of marijuana, in 1999 for property damage and in 1998 for a minor in possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. His parents are David and Kathy Evans. David Evans, a local attorney, is the President of the Park de Ville Neighborhood Association and was a vocal opponent of the West Broadway Wal-Mart development. Kathy Evans is employed with Jackie Bulgin Real Estate.