Police say report of shooting was false

Thursday, June 30, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:06 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Columbia police have arrested Walter Allen III for second-degree assault and filing a false police report in connection with Tuesday’s shooting at the 800 block of Mikel Street.

Initially, the incident was reported as a drive-by shooting with the suspect fleeing in a white car. Through an investigation, police learned that the story was false.

Police determined the shooting was accidental, with the drive-by scenario being created before officers arrived at the scene. Allen was looking at a weapon in the house when it discharged, striking the victim in the lower back.

“People lie to the police all the time,” Capt. Brad Nelson said. “It’s usually not something of this magnitude.

“Apparently the individual who had accidentally shot his friend became scared and made up this story. This incident could have been avoided had Allen not been careless with his handling of the gun.”

The gun has not yet been located. Nelson said that officers who arrived at the scene located one firearm, but it is not believed to be the same gun that shot the victim.

The fabrication, which is a misdemeanor, might result in charges filed against the victim as well, Nelson said. Nelson also said the victim, whose name has not been released, is still in the hospital but not in serious condition.

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