Columbia police were looking for a man Thursday they said shot MU basketball player DeMarre Carroll and a 23-year-old man at a downtown nightclub early Thursday morning.
Employees of Club Tropicana initially reported that fireworks were being set off outside the business around 1:30 a.m., police said. But they called back a few minutes later reporting that what they thought were fireworks were actually gunshots. Seventeen Columbia police officers responded to the call because it involved a shooting during a bar fight, said Columbia police Capt. Brad Nelson.
A crowd gathered outside the club dispersed when police arrived, police said.
Police found the victims at the emergency room after they were taken by a private car, Nelson said. The 23-year-old victim, whose name police would not disclose because the suspect was still at large, had been shot in the side and was admitted to the hospital. Carroll, 20, was shot in the ankle and was treated and released, Nelson said. As of Thursday afternoon, both had been released from the hospital. Nelson said he did not know which hospital they were at.
“It was pretty severe, but nothing too, too bad,” said Brandi Snodgrass, Carroll’s girlfriend.
Carroll’s identity was released in a statement, posted Thursday morning on mutigers.cstv.com, from Mike Anderson, MU’s head basketball coach and Carroll’s uncle. Carroll transferred from Vanderbilt University last year and was ineligible to play basketball at MU. He was hoping to play in the upcoming season, Snodgrass said. Dave Reiter, assistant director of media relations for MU Athletics, said Carroll’s injuries are not career-threatening.
“This was a scary situation for DeMarre and one we will help him through,” Anderson said in the statement. “We are just very grateful the injuries suffered by everyone involved don’t appear to be life-threatening,” .
Nelson said that there is no evidence the suspect was aiming to end Carroll’s basketball career.
“In the chaos, how would he know that he was an athlete?” Nelson said.
Police ask anyone who was at Club Tropicana around the time of the shooting or anyone with any information to call CrimeStoppers, 875-8477.
— Missourian reporter Pete Scantlebury contributed to this article.