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Shooting

Two men charged in connection with Saturday deadly shooting, police looking for one

Kesan Mcneal mugshot boone county columbia
Boone County Sheriff's Department
Kesan McNeal.

COLUMBIA Mo. (KMIZ)

Two people face murder charges linked to a deadly shooting in downtown Columbia Saturday night.

Boone County prosecutors charged Kesan McNeal, 23, of Columbia, and Marlin Cortez Johnson in connection with the killing.

Joseph Hecht, 38, of Sturgeon, died from injuries he received in the shooting, Columbia police say.

The shooting happened near the intersection of 8th Street and Locust Street at around 12:40 a.m. on Saturday. Officers learned at the scene Hecht was taken to the hospital in a private vehicle before police or EMS arrived at the scene.

Daniel Gray, who lives at the District Flats, an apartment complex at 8th Street and Locust Street, says he was shocked to hear about the shooting.

"It was kind of a surprise to me I didn't think that something like that could happen down here," Gray said.

Columbia police arrested McNeal on suspicion of second-degree murder on Sunday. He now faces a charge of accessory to second-degree murder, according to online court records.

Bob Wood, the owner and operator of Dawson Shoe Repair, a small shop near the scene of the shooting, says the area is normally safe.

"Anybody that listens to the news knows there's violence happening in this town," Wood said. "I was somewhat surprised that it was happening this close to my business."

As of Monday, McNeal was held in Boone County Jail custody without bond, according to jail records.

Wood says he thinks the shooting is a rare occurrence.

"I think everything's under control, really, just happened to be something that went bad," Wood said.

Johnson faces a count of second-degree murder and two counts of armed criminal action linked to the killing.

As of Monday, Johnson has not been booked into the Boone County Jail, according to online jail records.

Court records say a warrant for Johnson's arrest was ordered on Sunday.

Police requested the public's help to find a second person connected to the weekend killing, and that the person was considered armed and dangerous. It's unclear as of Monday morning if Johnson is the second person police are looking.

ABC 17 News reached out to the police department's public information for more details Monday morning but didn't immediately hear back.

This is a developing story, watch ABC 17 News at noon for the latest information.

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Zach Boetto

Zach Boetto started working with ABC 17 News in June after graduating from California State University-Channel Islands with a degree in organizational communication. He reports weekday evenings and weekend mornings.

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