A Columbia teenager was arrested early Monday morning in the northeast part of town when he tried to evade police and was found in possession of a loaded handgun, according to Columbia police.
Officers were on patrol near Hickman High School at 2:47 a.m. when they heard gunfire, Sgt. Michael Maynard said.
Officers found two youths, one of whom kept putting his hands in his pockets while police tried to talk to him, Maynard said. After the youth was told by the officer to stop taking his hands in and out of his pockets, he ran away.
He was caught near Sexton and Providence roads, Maynard said.
When retracing the young man’s steps, police found a .22-caliber handgun that was cocked and loaded with its safety off. A similar gun was taken last month from a house in north Columbia, Maynard said.
Laboratory analysis will be used to determine who owns the gun because the serial numbers on the gun were scratched off and unreadable, Maynard said.
Officers could not find anyone or anything that had been harmed by the gunfire.
The 15-year-old was arrested on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and resisting arrest, both felonies, and possession of a defaced firearm. He was released into the custody of the juvenile justice system, said Capt. Stephen Monticelli, West District commander.
No charges were filed against the other youth.
If the gun was determined to have been stolen, the boy could face additional charges, Monticelli said.