Columbia City Council, police chief to hold press conference on Columbia shootings Wednesday

Council members say they will not comment on incidents until the meeting

City leaders to hold press conference on crime Wednesday

COLUMBIA, Mo. - After three shootings in the past three days and another shooting downtown a little over a week ago, ABC 17 News learned Monday that city leaders will hold a news conference this week.

City Manager Mike Matthes, Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton and all City Council members will discuss crime prevention strategies Wednesday.

City leaders are expected to address the recent crimes at the 2 p.m. news conference and will inform the community on future crime prevention options.

On Monday, ABC 17 News tried tracking down both paid and elected officials. 

Phone calls were made to all seven council members and ABC 17 News went to five members' homes.

Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas and Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe said they would not comment on crime in Columbia until Wednesday.

ABC 17 News found out Mayor Bob McDavid and Police Chief Ken Burton will hold a news conference at City Hall Wednesday at 9 a.m. to talk about crime in the city. 

However, because the city did not give 24 hours' notice of the 9 a.m. conference, it had to be reschedule until 2 p.m.

Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine said the release is set to be sent out Tuesday and said the press conference will focus on the shootings and violence in the past nine days. 

St. Romaine also said the mayor and police chief will also be sharing any details they can about the shootings. 

ABC 17 News tried to get a hold of Burton Monday for comment on the shootings this past weekend, but never heard back. 

Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser told ABC 17 News she and the rest of the council were contacted by the city manager to prepare statements for this news conference. 

ABC 17 News will be at the meeting Wednesday. 

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