Columbia's police chief is calling for a teen curfew after a recent spate of shootings that has city leaders and many residents on edge. Chief Ken Burton says he will develop a formal proposal for City Council consideration within the next month. Burton spoke today at a City Hall news conference along with Columbia's mayor and five council members.
At the meeting held in Burton called the shooting Sunday night a “drug deal gone bad.” On Sunday, 25-year-old Anthony Unger of Jefferson City was shot dead. Police say 26-year-old Samuel Butler and 22-year old Joycelynn Brown were arrested on charges of second degree murder in that incident. Burton also says that shooting it is still under investigation.
“We can’t share everything in the media that would clarify a lot of these things and actually reduce the fear of citizens when these kinds of things happen and you read about them and see them on television. We have to give our prosecutors the opportunity to bring those cases to a successful conclusion,” Burton said.
Burton says the city should consider making a curfew for those under the age of 18. Councilmembers Michael Trapp and Barbara Hoppe made remarks stating a curfew may not be the right action to take at this time. At the end of the meeting City Manager Mike Matthes acknowledged the varying opinions on the issue and said a city curfew will be discussed in the future.
The discussion comes after four shootings over nine days, including a late-night weekend incident at a downtown intersection in which three young men were wounded as dozens of onlookers gathered nearby.
UPDATE: Columbia Police say they have arrested a suspect in the shooting at Broadway and 10th on June 15th. In a statement, police say they arrested 20-year-old Eric Cravens of Columbia Wednesday afternoon after stopping him on Clark Lane. Police say Cravens was arrested for three counts of 1st degree Assault and one count of Armed Criminal Action.