COLUMBIA — Following an anonymous tip to CrimeStoppers, Fulton police arrested Malcolm D. Redmon, 24, at 7:26 a.m. Friday in connection with an October shooting on Park Avenue that left two people wounded.
Columbia police Capt. Brad Nelson said warrants were issued for Redmon days after the Oct. 9 shooting, but police were unable to find him until now. To help with the search, CrimeStoppers offered a $1,000 reward earlier this week for information that led to Redmon’s arrest.
“The caller said they believed he was in Fulton,” Nelson said. “They did not give a direct address but gave good reference points, which we then notified to the Fulton police, who figured out where he was.”
Nelson said the caller who gave details of Redmon’s whereabouts is eligible for the reward.
“This is certainly a success story involving CrimeStoppers where the police, media and citizens all worked together to fight crime,” Nelson said.
Redmon was interviewed at the department’s Walnut Street headquarters early Friday, according to a police news release. Nelson said the interview was completed around noon, though he declined to give other details about the interview.
Nelson said Redmon will soon be moved to the Boone County Jail, where he will be held on two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action. His bond is set at $200,000.
The Oct. 9 shooting, part of a 50-person fight on Park Avenue, is one example of an overall increase in violent crime this year.
According to police statistics provided to the Missourian on Thursday, with a month left in 2007, violent crime in Columbia is up 17 percent from last year.
The department listed 537 violent crimes so far this year, compared with 459 in 2006 and 478 in 2005. Violent crimes include murder, rape, robbery and assault. Compared with last year, robberies in Columbia have increased from 113 to 128, or 13 percent.
Those statistics led Mayor Darwin Hindman to call a news conference Friday morning that included Police Chief Randy Boehm, MU police Chief Jack Watring and Boone County Sheriff Dwayne Carey. Hindman praised the police department’s handling of the crime increase.
“I’m actually very proud of our law enforcement agencies,” Hindman said. “The community needs to realize that it’s very well-protected.”
At the news conference, Boehm said his department has formed a multi-agency task force to combat the rise in crime.
“They are going to do everything to address the recent shooting events,” Boehm said.
He said the task force members would consist of six Columbia police officers, two Boone County Sheriff’s deputies, an MU police officer and an FBI liaison member. The officers will be assigned full-time to the task force and pulled from their regular duties.
Boehm said the task force would exist “as long as we believe the need exists,” and that police administrators would evaluate its progress in a couple of weeks.
He also said he appreciated the cooperation the other agencies have given Columbia police.
“We have great relationships with our fellow law enforcement agencies,” Boehm said. “That doesn’t happen in every jurisdiction.”
Earlier this week, Boehm told the Missourian that he was adding additional patrols that will focus solely on robberies. The patrols, which began last weekend, will consist of four officers split into two teams. The officers will receive overtime pay and will be working “for the foreseeable future.”
The patrols, assigned to selected weeknights, will focus on convenience stores and, to a lesser degree, hotels. Boehm said those businesses can attract robberies because they are often open late.
Hindman said law enforcement agencies and city administrators are taking the increase very seriously.
“This is serious to the community,” Hindman said. “It can lead to fear.”
At the same time, Hindman stressed he didn’t want a “knee-jerk” reaction to the problem and said that he has requested a comprehensive report for the City Council.
Boehm said the department, with the help of residents, has a clearance rate in solving crimes in 2007 of 63 percent, compared with the national average of 44 percent.
Hindman said he was proud of the department’s clearance rate and even jokingly suggested that the city erect a sign at the city limits reading, “You shouldn’t commit a crime here, because you’ll probably get caught.”