Columbia police continue to investigate downtown shooting
Bar owners and city leaders want increased police presence
The Columbia Police Department continues to investigate a downtown shooting that injured three people.
Around 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning, someone shot at least eight rounds near the intersection of 10th Street and Broadway.
One victim suffered gunshot wounds to the lower body and two other victims were injured. Their injuries are considered non-life threatening.
Police say the victims are all males, aged 23, 23 and 19. CPD will not release the names of the victims, saying that information could put them in danger or hinder the investigation.
Investigators are unsure if the shooting is gang-related, but Sergeant Joe Bernhard told ABC 17 News an assault at the Blue Fugue Bar late Friday night could be related to the shooting.
Bernhard says three teenagers assaulted a 42-year-old man in front of the bar, located at 120 Ninth Street. The assault happened 45 minutes before the shooting.
No arrests have been made in the shooting and police have not released a suspect description.
Now, business owners and city leaders are demanding police increase their presence downtown.
Bar owners told ABC 17 News they are tired with the crime happening in downtown and say most of the problems begin when people loiter on street corners and harass others walking by.
"We heard the gunshot go off and we ran into the store and locked up," said SubZone employee Robby Dawson.
He says he is worried for his safety as well as the safety of downtown patrons.
Patrons to the downtown area say they will start thinking twice before venturing into the heart of Columbia at night.
Columbia's mayor, who was defending the city's reputation of being safe, said Monday changes would be made.
"We've got a lot of work to do and the police, they're going to have more presence on the street, more overtime," said Mayor Bob McDavid. "They're taking this very seriously also."
Several bar owners said they want city leaders to do more than just step up police presence. They want a curfew enforcement and laws against loitering.
The manager of the Blue Fugue told ABC 17 News that after this incident, he thinks even more needs to be done.
A group of bar owners plans to meet with a law enforcement official on Tuesday to talk about the changes they want implemented downtown.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Columbia Police Department at (573) 442-6131 or CrimeStoppers at (573) 875-TIPS to remain anonymous.
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