Police aren’t sure exactly what happened in northwest Columbia on Tuesday morning, but an 18-year-old man ended up in the hospital with a gunshot wound to the foot.
The hospital reported the victim’s condition to the Columbia Police Department around 1:30 a.m. His injuries are not life-threatening.
Police were dispatched to the hospital, where they questioned the victim about the incident. He told police that he was walking in the area near 600 Claudell Lane around midnight Tuesday when a vehicle approached him, and the people in the car fired shots at him. He said that one of the shots hit him in the right foot as he was running away, police said.
“That was the initial report, but the victim is no longer cooperating with police,” said Sgt. Ken Hammond of the Major Crimes Unit. Hammond said information the hospital gave police about the victim’s wound and a lack of evidence in the area where the shooting allegedly occurred have led police to think the wound might have been self-inflicted.
“We weren’t able to find signs of gunfire or blood traces, which you usually get in these situations,” he said. “And usually you get a lot of calls when there are shots fired, and we didn’t get any calls in this case.”
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Uniform Statistics Reports, there were 48 assaults with a firearm in Columbia in 2006. There have been 14 so far in 2007.
Hammond said police have not determined a motive for a shooting since the victim is no longer talking to them. He said the victim’s name is not being released, and he was unsure which hospital was treating the victim.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 875-8477.