JC residents on edge after weekend of violence

Residents in two Jefferson City neighborhoods are concerned for their safety after two violent incidents over the first weekend in October.

Police said around 2 a.m. Sunday, they received numerous calls that there had been a shooting near 1425 Missouri Boulevard.

Police later determined that a 19 year-old man had been shot near the 1500 block of Edmonds Street. The victim, a Columbia resident, had been struck by gunfire and had a single gunshot wound to the back.

About two hours later, police received a report that a stabbing victim had arrived at Capitol Region Hospital for emergency treatment. They said that person was stabbed in the area of East McCarty Street and Chestnut Street.

Police did not elaborate on what led up to either incident.

Police said both victims' injuries appear to be non life-threatening. They have not released the identities of either victim.

Jefferson City resident Judy Pruett said she was woken up in the middle of the night by her son, who heard the gunfire and was terrified for his mother's safety.

"I woke up and said, what's the matter? He said Mom, did you hear that? I said no. He said, they're shooting mad, like crazy," Pruett said.

Pruett said she had trouble falling back asleep because she didn't know if the shooter was close by or not, or if her family was in danger.

Resident David Ross said his wife supervises children at a playground right near where the shooting happened. He said, the shooting has made him fear for the children's safety. "My wife works here, right here at this playground. You've seen bullets come through walls, it doesn't take much," Ross said.

The two instances of violence bring Jefferson City's total to three incidents for the first week of October.

"I don't want to say Columbia, but you don't want this turning into Chicago," Ross said. "This is a small town, this isn't supposed to be happening right next door."

Although residents are shaken up by the violence, many said they believe Jefferson City Police do a good job, despite being short by about 16 staff members.

"They're always over here patrolling. Every 10 to15 minutes you see one go by," Pruett said. "I just wish everyone would be peaceful and stop fighting. If you've got to go out, don't take guns with you."

Pruett said she thinks the first step towards stopping the violence is to pull together as a community. She said isolation is a problem in the Edmonds Street neighborhood. She thinks if neighbors take basic steps like introducing themselves to each other, that it may become less likely that crime will occur.

Police have not yet made any arrests in either case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Jefferson City Police Department at 573-634-6400.