COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Prosecutors charged two people after a shooting on Business Loop 70 in Columbia. The roundabout on Business Loop 70 near Aldi was closed for a short period on Jan. 26 after someone shot from one vehicle at another.
Officers say they found one vehicle with damage from the shooting. Officers also found contraband inside the victim's vehicle and arrested David Preston Clark, 31, of Columbia for possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia.
After speaking with Clark and another victim, police are searching for Michael Isaiah Whitley and Courtney Antron Brown Jr. who are suspected to be involved in the shooting.
Whitley is charged with assault in the first degree, unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action. Brown is charged with unlawful use of a weapon.
According to court documents, the victim told police Whitley was the person who shot at him. He also provided a statement of the vehicle shots were fired from, which was a red Toyota with duct tape on the front and a damaged passenger mirror.
Police also spoke with another person who said they were almost hit by the suspect's vehicle before the shooting. The witness told police they saw the front passenger start to get out of the vehicle.
In a lineup, the witness told police they were split 50/50 whether it was Whitley or another person.
Officers also showed a lineup to another witness who said they got a look at the back seat passenger after the shooting. That witness told police they were split between the back passenger being Brown and another person.
Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones said witness cooperation, like the cooperation in this shooting, can help police have a more clear understanding of a case.
"When we have things that happen and we have different perspectives, one person's perspective may not give us the full picture, but when we have several people that give us information it really helps," Jones said.
"In this case specifically, when we're talking about the Business Loop shooting, having people willing to give us bits and pieces of that gives us leads to follow, and it oftentimes results in a positive outcome," he said.
Jones said the department continues to see more cooperation from victims and witnesses in these types of cases. He said the department wants to keep the community as a whole safe, but also wants to keep people safe who may be targeted by gun violence because of their behavior.
"In this instance, we had someone who, even though we took them into custody, they needed our help. And we don't want to see anybody get hurt under any circumstance," he said.
Jones said people with information can also call Crime Stoppers if they have information and wish to stay anonymous.
"Sometimes it's that one small piece of information that opens up different leads and opportunities to solve a crime," he said.
Jones said Crime Stoppers has recently proven to be very helpful to the department.