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Suspect is linked to gunfire

Police say the Columbia man, 18, is armed and dangerous
Tuesday, April 12, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:04 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 6, 2008

A warrant was issued Monday for a suspect who police say was involved in two related gunfire incidents last week.

Police are looking for Koda A. Coats, 18, of 1706 Stanford Drive. Coats was not apprehended or arrested as of 5 p.m. Monday, and police said he should be considered armed and dangerous.

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Can You Help?

Koda A. Coats is wanted, and police say he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Police request that anyone with information about Coats should call 911, and anyone with information about the incidents in this article should call CrimeStoppers at 573-875-8477. CrimeStoppers is offering a reward up to $1,000 for information leading to Coats’ arrest.

Columbia police Capt. Brad Nelson said Coats was identified as a suspect after interviews with “other individuals who had knowledge of the incident.” Police had checked Coats’ home and with relatives Monday but did not know where he was, Nelson said.

The gunfire incidents both occurred Wednesday near two day care centers and an elementary school. No children were targeted or injured, according to police. The first incident was at 4:25 p.m. at Allen Street and LaSalle Place, near a day care center, and the second happened hours later at Fourth and Grand avenues, near an elementary school and a day care center.

Police had two warrants for Coats’ arrest Monday. The first was previously issued for a felony probation and parole violation. The original charges included second-degree trafficking of narcotics and a weapons violation. The warrant issued Monday was for one count of armed criminal action and one count of second-degree assault. The bond for the two charges in the Monday warrant totals $500,000.

Coats is the third suspect in the incidents. Police think two groups of young males are feuding and shooting at each other, Nelson said. He added that the three suspects know each other but that the suspects’ sides of the feud vary.

“Major crimes investigators have received collaborating statements and statements of guilt from several subjects, but I’m not prepared to discuss them individually,” Nelson said.

Nelson said police have not labeled the suspects or incidents as gang-related.

Police have seized three vehicles that they think were involved in the incidents, Nelson said. Fingerprint evidence from the vehicles was sent to the lab, but it had not come back yet, Nelson added. Police are continuing to investigate the incidents.

“We do believe Koda Coats is a pretty important piece of the puzzle, but it’s still under investigation,” Nelson said.


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