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Law enforcement continues to ask the community for help involving open investigations


With many unanswered questions surrounding recent shootings, law enforcement continues to ask the community for information as they reiterate that tips can be sent in anonymously.

The most recent ongoing shooting investigations began Monday afternoon after a downtown traffic stop was linked to a shooting in northeast Columbia. Also, earlier Monday morning, one person was injured in a shooting on Hinkson Avenue.

Before this, the recent hot spot has been in Downtown Columbia. Since Sept. 18, four different downtown shooting investigations have been ongoing, with at least two of them resulting in injuries.

According to state crime data, 41% of violent crimes involving the Columbia Police Department have resulted in an arrest being made.

This number compares to other departments of similar size. For example, Springfield Police Department has made 42% of violent crimes arrests, and Independence Police Department stands at 32%.

With 59% of violent crime cases still open, Jeff Pitts with the Columbia Police Department says investigations can be closed by arrest, unfounded, or possibly other circumstances. For example, if a suspect is identified by the suspect who is no longer living, the case might be closed. There is always the possibility of reopening closed investigations if information comes to light that would warrant such an action. 

Pitts says each open investigation is different in terms of what is being done to get new details. Still, in general, officers and/or detectives continue to track down leads that could come from surveillance footage, eyewitnesses, DNA, and fingerprints, among others. Police also work on talking to suspects or persons of interest. 

"We rely on our community members to help us out in solving these crimes. Police officers are there to help, but we aren't everywhere at one time," Pitts said.

Pitts also wants to encourage community members with information to provide anonymous tips through calling CrimeStoppers.

John Fields, president of the board of directors for CrimeStoppers, says this program is in the community to help police by providing cash rewards for anonymous tips to lead to arrests in open investigations.

"The information you give, no matter how big how small, can help with an investigation. Your piece of the puzzle could be what makes or breaks the case," Fields said.

When calling a tip into CrimeStoppers, they won't ask your name or any other personal information but will instead provide you with a number so that you can call back and see if you are eligible for a reward.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Columbia Police Department at 874-7652 or to remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers at 875-8477.

Watch ABC 17 News at 10 p.m.

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Chanel Porter

Chanel joined ABC 17 News in January 2021 after graduating from Penn State University. She enjoys traveling and a daily iced coffee.


1 Comment

  1. The Hinkson Avenue shooting was very unusual. From the police scanner:

    Dude calls 911 and says someone came in and shot me in the leg. The 911 operator asks where are you? The shooting victim, calling on a cell phone, could not give his location. He just said he was in the laundry room and had entered through an open door. He was rather uncooperative.

    911 plots his location to a certain address, cops go there and cannot find the victim. Plotting cell phone locations is not supper precise and a little while later the victim’s cell phone is plotting about a block away. Police go there and still cannot find the victim.

    911 asks the victim to yell out so the police can listen for him. No luck. Then 911 asks the cops to turn on their sirens so they can listen over the phone to see if the cops are close to the victim. No luck. The cops start yelling for the victim. The cell phone then plots to another location close by. This goes on for about an hour. The cops were getting frustrated. The fire department is staging close by and they offer to help search for the victim.

    Finally the police find him.

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