The Columbia Police Department acknowledged Thursday it’s looking into a possible connection between an early-morning homicide in north Columbia and the death of Ahmonta Harris.

Police said they responded to a shots-fired call Thursday morning and found 20-year-old Deonte Gainwell with a gunshot wound. He was later pronounced dead.

CPD spokesman Jeff Pitts confirmed the department is reviewing possible links between Harris and Gainwell because of social media chatter.

Pitts said it’s unclear what the motive is or if there are any ties between the two homicides, but KOMU 8 News heard a CPD lieutenant mentioning the possible connection on scene.

Harris died in November in a house just outside Columbia city limits. At the time, deputies said, Harris broke into a house for a robbery and threatened a 20-year-old resident who was also armed. Harris was subsequently shot and killed. He died at the scene.

Pitts said investigators currently “have no idea of any connection” between the two men.

“We are still currently actively looking into different leads,” he said. “We are still actively searching for that information and (are attempting to) find out who and why Mr. Gainwell was murdered.”

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