COLUMBIAMO (STL.News)  Columbia Police responded to a report of shots fired in the area of Volunteer Drive and Grace Lane at approximately 12:15 a.m. on July 5.
Upon arrival, officers assessed the scene and located four victims who had sustained gunshot wounds during the incident.  Officers recognized the victims’ immediate need for advanced medical attention, and made the decision to “load and go”.  This term means officers proceeded to transport all four victims in police vehicles to local emergency rooms while rendering CPR to a female juvenile victim.

A fifth victim was later interviewed at the police department.

Three of the victims sustained non-life threatening injuries; a 40 year-old female, 22 year-old male and an additional female (age unknown at this time).

Two of the five victims were pronounced dead and identified as; Ri’ajauhna (last name withheld per the family’s request), 11, of Columbia and Tara L. Knedler, 38, of Columbia.  Next of kin has been notified for both victims.

“The celebrations families enjoyed were shattered last night by senseless gun violence,” Mayor Brian Treece said.  “Once again, our community and these families must deal with the unimaginable pain of the loss of a loved one.”

CPD has one person of interest currently detained.   This is an ongoing investigation and is being handled by the Criminal Investigation Division.

“Now more than ever our community must come together to say with one unified voice that violent crime must stop,” Treece said.

If you saw something or know something, say something. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to please contact the Columbia Police Department at 573.874.7652 or CrimeStoppers at 573.875.TIPS (8477) to remain anonymous.


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