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Chief: Detectives putting in “inspiring” work to ongoing shooting investigations

The Columbia Police Department is working vigorously on several 2019 shooting homicide cases, according to Chief Geoff Jones.

Police have investigated eight deadly shootings so far this year. Five people died in four separate incidents in September alone.

No arrests have been made in two of those cases. In the other six, at least one suspect is in custody and charged in Boone County Circuit court.

No suspect information has been released in connection to the deaths of Danielle Marine and Antonio Houston - who were fatally shot on Rice Road on Sept. 22. The same goes for James Hickem, who was shot and killed on McBaine Ave. on the night of Sept. 25.

"You have to keep going," said Willie Smith, Hickem's grandfather. "I'm more concerned about my daughter, my wife, my grandkids. My family has been having a really hard time with this.”

On Wednesday Jones did not provide comment on the investigations into the deaths of Hickem, Marine or Houston. He told ABC 17 News that the department's investigators are doing working on the cases. He added that his officers' dedication to their work is "inspiring."

Multiple members of the Columbia Police Review Board praised Jones- who began as interim chief in January before taking on the role permanently- for the number of arrests made and asked what's helped the department progress.

The department has gotten more help from the public and the anonymous tip source, Crimestoppers, Jones said. Also, officers have been more proactive in working incidents involving gunfire.

“I have asked that anytime that someone is shot or a house is shot, that we treat it as though it is a homicide," Jones said. "A lot of things are moving in a positive direction."

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Barry Mangold

Barry Mangold reports for ABC 17 News on weekday evenings and anchors weekend evening broadcasts.


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