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Officers kill suspect during ‘mass casualty’ shooting in Missouri, police say

Police lights. (Dreamstime/TNS)

A suspect was killed by officers and another remains on the loose after five people were wounded by gunfire early Sunday morning in downtown Columbia, according to police.

Officers were managing crowds shortly after 3 a.m. when they heard gunshots outside Vibez lounge near North 5th and East Walnut streets, Police Chief Geoff Jones said.

They saw two suspects “engaging in gunfire,” one of whom ran from the area and whose whereabouts were not known. The other, a 30-year-old man who fired into a crowd of people, was shot and killed by two officers, Jones said.

Five other shooting victims were located. As of Sunday morning, they all remained in stable condition, Jones said.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the police shooting. The officers will not be working on the street during the investigation, Jones said during a news conference.

The man killed by officers has not been publicly identified.

“It concerns me deeply that I have to speak about a mass casualty in Columbia, Missouri,” Jones said, pausing for a brief moment. “We will follow every lead to determine how this transpired and we will do everything necessary to prevent further incidents like this.”

Mayor Brian Treece said officers took immediate action to intervene during the shooting and rendered care to the victims. He said the city will continue to meet with community partners, including officials at the University of Missouri, to improve safety.

“This is a community issue and it’s imperative that all of us, including our residents and business owners and city leaders, work together to address this issue because no one entity can do this alone,” Treece said. “And it has to stop.”

Treece noted that there have been five reported shootings at the lounge and others nearby.

“If there’s guns and alcohol and students, that’s a potent cocktail that doesn’t mix,” he said.

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