Two injured after gunfight

Saturday, November 24, 2007 | 4:14 p.m. CST; updated 3:51 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — Two Columbia men were injured early Saturday after a gun fight near Falling Leaf Lane and Grindstone Parkway, Columbia police said.

At about 11:15 p.m. Friday, several residents in the area of Derby Ridge Drive and Smiley Lane called police after hearing gunshots, Columbia police Capt. Stephen Monticelli said. The witnesses saw the occupants of a white passenger car and a maroon passenger car shooting at each other, he said. Nobody was injured in the incident, Monticelli said, but a vehicle parked nearby was hit by a bullet.

Helen Jackmon, 68, was asleep on a couch in her living room when she woke to the sound of gunshots. She called police.

The subdivision where she lives, located across the street from Derby Ridge Elementary School, has become more dangerous in the past few years, said Jackmon, who has lived in the neighborhood for about 10 years.

“When I first moved here, you could leave your doors unlocked and not worry about anything,” she said. “In the last three or four years, it’s been getting bad.”

Joshua Koch, 28, said he moved into the neighborhood about six months ago. About a month ago, his house was broken into while he was at work.

“You just don’t feel safe here anymore,” Koch said. “I don’t think Columbia should be anything like this.”

At about 2:45 a.m. Saturday, a clerk at Petro Mart, 3300 Falling Leaf Lane, called police to report that the occupants of multiple vehicles were firing gunshots, Monticelli said. Police found evidence of a gunfight, including shell casings and bullets that cracked a window above the store’s front door and another that hit the top of a gas pump, he said.

Police learned that one gunshot victim was taken by a private vehicle to a local hospital with a gunshot wound, Monticelli said. Officers also found a second gunshot victim in the neighborhood, Monticelli said. That victim was taken to a local hospital by ambulance. The victims, described as a 21-year-old man and a 24-year-old man, received wounds that were not life threatening, Monticelli said.

Police found a handgun in the area as well.

“We do believe (the two incidents) are related,” Monticelli said. “We’re getting very little cooperation from the victims.”

Anyone with information about these incidents may call the Columbia Police Department at 874-7652 or CrimeStoppers at 875-8477.

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