Police seek help identifying shooter

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 | 1:29 p.m. CDT; updated 9:08 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — Columbia Police are still trying to identify the man who shot a 20-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy Tuesday evening in the 500 block of Park Avenue.

“We are certainly in need of the citizens’ assistance on this one,” Capt. Brad Nelson said. “There are quite a few witnesses, but unfortunately few have come forward.”

The suspect, who shot the man in the leg and the boy in the jaw or cheek, is believed to have left the scene in a car. The identities of the two victims are not being released for their safety, Nelson said.

The shooting was preceded by a fight between two groups of 20 to 30 teens, Sgt. Ken Hammond said. Police received a call at 6:49 p.m. reporting the incident and were on their way to the scene when callers began reporting that shots were fired. Someone who was not involved in the fight but was in the crowd watching is believed to have pulled out a gun.

The two groups involved in the fighting had been feuding since the beginning of the summer, Hammond said. Police are unsure why the groups were fighting, “other than they don’t get along,” Hammond said.

“There’s no indication that they were organized or identified themselves as gang members,” Hammond said. “It’s not uncommon for groups to have conflict, but most of them don’t end in gunfire, though.”

Police are encouraging anyone with information to contact police, or call CrimeStoppers at 875-8477. Callers can remain anonymous and might be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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