2 women killed in deadly shooting at Charleston party identified; 14 others injured
CHARLESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - Sixteen people were shot, two of whom died, at a party in southeast Missouri early Saturday morning, February 19.
Charleston Department of Public Safety Chief Robert Hearnes identified the two victims as Clintayzia Clark, 23, of Cape Girardeau and originally from Charleston, and Brianna Schumer, 19, of Cape Girardeau.
A candlelight vigil was held in Cape Girardeau on Monday evening in honor of the victims.
A town meeting was held at the C.F. Bowden Civic Center in Charleston at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. According to event organizers, leaders with the Charleston Chapter of the NAACP, along with a crisis team from across the southeast Missouri region were available to help anyone who may be struggling in coping with what happened.
City leaders say they hope a road to healing can start for folks in the community following the shooting.
Chief Hearnes said they are actively looking for a shooter with the help of multiple law enforcement agencies in the area, including the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The chief said he also reached out to federal authorities, but the state’s Second Amendment Preservation Law is impacting his ability to use that resource.
He said he’s working to gather any surveillance video or video taken by party goers. He said they’ve seen video posted to social media, and encouraged anyone at that party to come forward.
“A lot people are just kind of in shock. We want that shock to turn into people coming and cooperating with us and helping us with the investigation,” he said.
According to the Charleston Department of Public Safety, at around 1 a.m., there were reports of gunshots being fired at a party in the 100 block of South Franklin Street.
A party was being held at an open cinder block structure that formerly served as an auto mechanic shop.
Chief Hearnes said a confrontation during the party led to the shooting that left two women dead and 14 others injured.
Of the injuries, four people were in serious or critical condition and several others were treated at area hospitals.
Hearnes said the victims are from several surrounding communities, including Cape Girardeau, Sikeston and Cairo.
Officers from several surrounding agencies helped secure the area on Saturday.
“With this kind of senseless violence, we can’t do our job unless people who were inside that party or people that have information will come forth,” Chief Hearnes said.
He said as many as 100 people rushed out of the building trying to get to safety. He said those who were not shot fled the scene.
He’s wanting those folks to help police find answers.
“There were people that were at this party from all around southeast Missouri and southern Illinois, so there are people in the area that know what happened in several area towns that can come forth and help us with the investigation,” Hearnes said.
According to Charleston DPS, they found several cell phones at the crime scene and are trying to get them back to their owners. If you think they may have your phone, you’re asked to call DPS at 573-683-3737.
One man said his family member is one of the 16 who were shot. He asked us not to share his or the victim’s name.
“We all are kind of like victims in this whole thing,” he said. “We all are feeling compassionate. We all are, as a community, we’re feeling exactly the same.”
He said he’s emotional knowing some won’t get to see their loved ones.
“We need to stop feeling as though it’s ok to do bad things. It’s not ok. You’re not going to win a popularity contest by doing hideous things like this,” the man continued.
He said he hopes someone will speak up and that the information will lead to finding a suspect.
“As a community, we definitely need answers. We shouldn’t shun away from telling what we know,” the man said.
Charleston city leaders said they want to hit the streets to make sure shootings like this don’t happen again.
Anyone that was at the party, or has information concerning this incident, is urged to contact the Charleston DPS at 573-683-3737. You may remain anonymous.
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