Thursday Columbia homicide marks third unsolved case since January 2018

Columbia police investigators were not certain if 3 homicide cases since last year involved illegal drugs or gang activity. (Mark Slavit/KRCG 13)

A man died Thursday morning following a shooting in north Columbia.

Columbia police said someone shot and killed 20-year-old Deonte Gainwell in a north Columbia neighborhood. Police had no suspect or motive for Gainwell’s homicide. Detectives confirmed the investigation marked the third unsolved homicide case for the department since this time last year.

Columbia NAACP President Mary Ratliff said Columbia’s recent homicides and shootings were the result of too many guns, too many illegal drugs and too much gang activity. Ratliff said Gainwell’s death is another example of too much violence in Columbia.

“We have this drug and gang activity in here now. Any time you have drug activity, it’s going to bring gang activity in," Ratliff said. "As a community, we have to step up and speak up.”

Columbia’s three unsolved homicide cases since last year have involved guns. Police investigators said they were not certain if the homicides involved illegal drugs or gang activity.

“I don’t have all the information the detectives have in terms of motives for the homicides," Columbia Police Spokesman Jeff Pitts said. "However, often times, it is common for drugs to be involved in homicides.”

Boone County deputies were also investigating a shooting death from this past weekend that happened just outside Columbia’s city limits.

Investigators wanted anyone with information about these shooting deaths to immediately call 911, or to remain anonymous, call Columbia CrimeStoppers at 573-875-TIPS.

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