© 2024 University of Missouri - KBIA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Man killed by police at Columbia apartment complex after firing at officers

Meiying Wu

Officers fatally shot a suicidal man at an apartment complex Friday afternoon after he fired at them, according to Columbia police.

Assistant Police Chief Lance Bolinger told reporters that the man called police at 3:05 p.m. and said he wanted to commit suicide. Officers responded to the man’s residence at the Landing at CoMo, a student housing community located at 301 Campusview Drive.

Officers made contact with the man, who said he wasn’t suicidal, according to a police news release Friday night.

The suspect called police again at 3:57 p.m. This time, the officers found the man outside the complex brandishing a weapon. He shot his weapon in the air and then at police, prompting multiple officers to return fire, Bolinger said.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Bolinger added that no one else was injured.

Bolinger said he does not know the man’s motive but that the suspect may have intended for officers to kill him all along.

Police could not share several details of the shooting, such as whether there were witnesses, how long the altercation lasted or the names of anyone involved.

Bolinger said two investigations will follow. The Missouri State Highway Patrol will take over the criminal investigation of the shooting, and Columbia police will conduct an internal review to ensure the events that unfolded were “within policy.”

Police presence loomed heavily over the apartment complex after the shooting. Long strips of caution tape tied to fences and trees prevented anyone from getting close. At least a dozen police cruisers sat idle around the area, and several officers milled around the parking lot beyond the tape line.

Assistant Chief Jill Schlude noted the police department currently does not dispatch mental health professionals with officers. She said the fact that the suspect shot at officers illustrates why pairing mental health personnel with police is a tough policy to implement.

“This is a perfect example because we got to think about what we’re sending people into, and sometimes situations like this can change very rapidly,” Schlude said. “Co-response is going to have to be really well thought through.”

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.
Related Content