Three men wearing masks escaped early Tuesday after a home invasion robbery and shooting in south Columbia.
Several residents were asleep when their front door was kicked in off North Cedar Lake Drive near Southampton Drive around 5 a.m.
A guest was also sleeping on the couch. While the suspects searched through the residence, the victim racked a round into his pistol-grip shotgun. That scared off the burglars, who shot multiple times into the home as they fled.
One neighbor that lives behind the apartment robbed said he didn't hear anything, but is scared the shooting happened so close.
"That freaks me out big time. I never thought that would happen because it's all students and young business people that live around here," Eric Lapointe said.
Nobody was hurt, and descriptions are limited. Police tell ABC 17 News they are looking for three black men, wearing dark clothing and masks, and all of thin to average build.
This is the fifth shooting in Columbia in one week. There have been no arrests made in any. This shooting has the best suspect description of all of the crimes. Since there are no real good suspect descriptions or leads to go off of, police are not yet sure if any of the crimes are related.
Lapointe has drawn his own conclusions about the crimes - and he told ABC 17 News he believes they are connected.
"A lot of people have been doing the same thing: breaking in with guns," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if they're connected. This city's been getting worse and worse every year."
Police are asking anyone with information to call Crimestoppers at 573-875-TIPS.