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Civil liability possible for homeowners where Columbia shooting took place

Shepard home shooting
One person was shot on Shepard Blvd. Friday, Nov. 22.


Following a shooting that left a teenager injured, many neighborhood residents are asking who should be held responsible.

Columbia police were sent Friday night to the 2500 block of Shepard Boulevard for reports of shots fired. When they got to the scene, they found bullet holes in a house.

Later, an 18-year-old man arrived at a hospital with a gunshot wound to his arm. Police said the injury was not life-threatening.

Neighbors told ABC 17 News that the shooting occurred at a house party thrown by students attending Rock Bridge High School. One neighbor described a large number of cars arriving at the party right before the shooting happened and then leaving right after the gunman fired shots.

Mike Campbell with the Campbell Law Firm said the homeowners could possibly be held legally liable. The two main things attorneys would look at to establish a civil case are where the gun(s) was from and if the residence saw a large number of past disturbances.

"The person who was injured could bring a claim or could explore a claim and try to recover for the medical bills as well as the things you can't see, like the pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish and stress that's associated with recovery from the injuries," Campbell said.

According to dispatch records from the City of Columbia, police have been called to the 2500 block of Shepard eight times in the past year, but none of the calls were for shootings. However, Friday's shooting was the first time police responded to that specific address in the past year.

Even though neighbors said teenagers were responsible for the party, without consistent negligence by the children, there is likely no basis for civil responsibility.

"More likely than not in the eyes of the law, you're not going to be responsible for what your kids are doing," Campbell said.

Columbia police did not respond to messages seeking an update in the investigation. Neighbors said authorities are reviewing footage from their "Ring" electronic doorbells to assist in the investigation.

Article Topic Follows: Crime
columbia police department
rock bridge high school
shepard boulevard

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Molly Stawinoga

Molly Stawinoga is ABC 17’s weekday morning anchor and a reporter at ABC 17 News. Molly joined the news team in 2017 while studying political science, journalism and Spanish at the University of Missouri. She is originally from DeKalb, Illinois.


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