COLUMBIA, Mo. - Residents of a north Columbia neighborhood have become familiar with the sight of police cars after two shootings in two weeks.
The Columbia Police Department has become familiar with the mile stretch of Derby Ridge Drive between Smiley Lane and Auburn Hills Park., as well. The police's dispatch log shows the department made 31 stops in the area since March 13, the night of the first shooting on the 1700 block of Bold Ruler Drive. Reasons for the stops range from traffic stops to disturbance calls. CPD made 37 stops in that area the entire month of January. Police say at least 11 of the 31 stops were "self-initiated," meaning the officer chose to make the stop instead of being called to the scene.
Leslie Nelson, who lives on High Quest Circle, says she has seen more police lately than before. While she feels safer seeing the police there, the shootings left her rattled.
"I wish that I knew more information about, you know, is it gang-related, is it just a random incident, is this something that's going to be a constant worry for me as I'm driving and coming out of my neighborhood," Nelson said.
Jeremy Sturm lives a block away from Bold Ruler Drive, and says police stopped him at Auburn Hills Park.
"[My girlfriend and I] were sitting there, and we were going to watch the stars," Sturm said. "When we went there, [the police] pulled us over and got us for suspicious activity. They asked for ID and stuff like that, but we were just sitting there and they said 'suspicious activity.'"
Despite the shootings, both residents don't think they live in a bad neighborhood.
"It's not like there's big criminal activity," Sturm said. "People are out barbecuing, kids playing. I think anything that happened here could have happened in any neighborhood."
"I never would have thought that would happen in this neighborhood," Nelson said.
Police have not identified any suspects in either shooting.