CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The Cape Girardeau Police Department is investigating a shooting that happened on the 600 block of South Sprigg St.
According to Cape Girardeau Police Department Sgt. Joey Hann, on Sunday Jan. 26 around 1:00 a.m. officers were on scene at “The River” banquet center on South Sprigg.
They were proactively patrolling The River banquet hall due to a citizen report of a large crowd at the business.
While on foot patrol in the parking lot, officers heard indications of a physical altercation occurring inside the business.
As officers began to enter the business, patrons began to run out of the west doorway.
Officers then heard multiple shots being fired inside and immediately ran through the crowd to protect the patrons that were still trapped inside.
Officers secured the scene and the suspect or suspects apparently fled alongside the exiting crowd.
Sgt. Hann said, five people were injured, 4 of those people suffer from non-life-threatening injuries. A fifth person, is in serious condition with gun shot wounds to the abdomen. They were all adult males ranging from 19 to 26 years of age.
“Our officers preformed their jobs extremely well. They identified and anticipated a potential problem area. They got out on foot to interact with the patrons and be seen to try to deter any violence from happening there that night. When gunshots rang out, they immediately ran towards the gunshots to protect the patrons inside," said Sgt. Hann.
A neighbor down the street says this is concerning and hits too close to home.
“You hear of burglaries and stuff like that but you never want shootings and stuff like that around your house," Michael Cray said.
There are no suspect(s) at this time. Though, several people witnessed the shooting they are currently not cooperating with police at this time.
Scott Johnson is a pastor for Soulful Ministries in Cape Girardeau and advocates for helping reduce crime and poverty in the area.
He says crime could be reduced if more organizations would connect with the people in the area.
“Without communication, effective communication, you can get nothing done," Johnson said. “And so that’s what is happening, the communication that is going on in this city regarding poverty and violence, in this city alone in the south side, it’s not there.”
When he heard about the shooting that happened, he felt it was a step in the opposite direction the community needs to go.
“Whenever you see something like this, it’s kind of like another setback,” Johnson said. “You’re out here doing what you need to do, to the best of your abilities, and then this happens. It’s heartbreaking.”
The shooting seemed directed toward the party goers, and nothing suggests that the public is in any danger at this time.
The Cape Girardeau Police Department is actively investigating this crime and they strongly encourage the public to come forward with any and all information.