Columbia police unit cracks down on 11 recent shootings

Update: Monday February 20, 10:56pm

Just before 10p.m while Chief Burton was addressing the council he glanced down at his phone.

He then told the council his officers had just taken two suspects into custody for the recent string of shootings.

The adult is being held on $25,000 bond.

Burton described the adult suspect as a "major player" in the case.

Earlier in the night Mayor Bob McDavid told us the public needed to step up and get involved to help the police department make some arrests.

He said he feared someone would get hurt, or killed if the violence doesn't stop.

Police haven't released the suspects name.

We'll update this story when more details become available.

Update: Monday February 20, 10:05pm

Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton announced Monday night the arrest of two people in the string of Columbia shootings, one is an adult, the other a juvenlie While Burton did not specify which shootings they were involved with, he did say they are major players in the gang violence.

KRCG's Daniel Winn is at tonight's council meeting where the announcement came and will have another update.

Original Story:

Over the past 27 days, Columbia Police have responded to 11 incidents of shots being fired. Investigators said at least 7 of those 11 incidents are connected. The calls were spread over several areas of Columbia. Most of the shots were fired in the evening hours in the central part of the city. Police Chief Ken Burton announced the formation of a new unit to crack down on the shootings.

Burton said, â??For obvious reasons, we donâ??t want to talk about the fine details of that. We will tell you, it will be a significant response. We hope itâ??s going to assist us in getting some of these folks identified and getting them off the street.â??

Burton doesnâ??t have any evidence, but he suspects the recent shootings, like the one at Chuck E. Cheeseâ??s, were committed by people that he calls thugs. In fact, he went so far to say that Columbia has a gang problem.

Columbia Black Community Leaders like Lorenzo Lawson said Columbia Police Officers have problems solving crimes because of poor relationships with the cityâ??s youth. Lawson says too many young African-Americans in Columbia see the police as an enemy instead of a friend.

Lawson said, â??These officers donâ??t have any relationship with the community. When they do have contact with the community, usually it is something negative that happens.â??

Only 1 person was injured during the recent 11 Columbia shootings. A man was shot in the leg and released from a hospital.

Burton said unless someone comes forward with information, these shootings will likely continue.