The nightclub east of Columbia where a fatal shooting happened early Sunday morning has been on the Boone County Sheriff's Department radar for some time.

The Vault, which is in a strip mall at 5695 E. Clark Lane, has grown in popularity because it can stay open later than businesses that sell alcohol. It acts as an after-hours club, and in the past couple of weeks there has been an increase in calls for service there, sheriff's Capt. Brian Leer said.

“When our deputies go out there, they’ll find at various times the parking are completely full of vehicles,” Leer said Monday. “Whenever the business gets full, people congregate in the parking lot.”

The Sheriff’s Department had no updates Monday on its investigation into the shooting that killed 24-year-old Junous O. Kelly of Columbia. It happened shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday.

“At this time, we’re still investigating and trying to identify witnesses and get interviews from witnesses,” Leer said.

Sheriff's deputies found a large number of people present at the time of the shooting, Leer said. “We would love to be able to do a complete and thorough investigation, which requires witnesses willing to be interviewed.”

Leer said the the Sheriff’s Department has spoken with the business owner and the property owner and expressed to both that The Vault has outgrown its location.

“Just last week, I was on one of the radio shows and made the comment that we just didn’t want to see somebody get seriously hurt or killed out there,” Leer said. “Unfortunately, we experienced that this weekend.”

“We are just encouraging anyone that knows something, say something and speak out,” Leer said. “You know Mr. Kelly was way too young to die.”

No arrests have been made. The Sheriff's Department is asking that anyone with information about the shooting call 573-442-6131 or 311. Those who want to remain anonymous can call CrimeStoppers at 573-875-8477.

  • Hannah is a summer reporter at the Columbia Missourian. Studying investigative journalism. Reach her at hrbk34@umsystem.edu, or in the newsroom 882-5720.

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