Home shootings may be linked

Friday, October 20, 2006
Bullet pierced windows at an apartment at 313 N. Fountain St. in Cape Girardeau early Thursday. Police are also investigating a similar incident on Ranney Avenue. (Don Frazier)

Gunfire that tore through two Cape Girardeau homes Thursday morning may be linked to two other recent shootings, prompting police to form a special investigative team.

No one was injured in the 2 a.m. shooting at 313 N. Fountain St., but bullets struck one of the homes -- an apartment -- between 30 and 40 times, according to police spokesman Jason Selzer.

Bullets blasted through a kitchen and bedroom window facing the street, narrowly missing the apartment's residents asleep at the time.

While investigating that shooting, police were tipped off that another home was struck by gunfire, Selzer said.

Neighbors of a residence at 1201 Ranney Ave. reported hearing what sounded like firecrackers going off around 3 a.m. Officers found two or three bullet holes at the home but have not been able to interview the home's resident or owner, according to Selzer.

Investigators suspect the two shootings were related and connected to similar attacks in recent days, he said.

At 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, shots were fired at a vehicle and garage in the 3100 block of Mimosa Drive. Two of four men in a vehicle with Illinois plates climbed out and fired the shots, police said.

Hours earlier Tuesday evening, a man seen walking down the street fired a handgun, shooting out windows of a home at the intersection of Good Hope and Hanover streets.

No one was hurt in either shooting.

Police have formed an investigative team of 13 officers, including one from both the sheriff's department and one from the Jackson police, Selzer said.

"We're trying to get this solved and people in custody before someone is seriously injured or killed," Selzer said.

In the Fountain Street attack, apartment resident Jacqueline Brand, 40, was awakened around 2 a.m. by gunfire. "I didn't know what it was," she said. Initially she thought part of her ceiling might be collapsing.

When Brand went into her 14-year-old son's bedroom after the shooting she found him awake and taking cover on the floor. Three bullet holes were in his window.

The kitchen window was struck twice, with one of the bullets lodging in a refrigerator freezer.

Another bullet struck just above a living room couch where Brand's 13-year-old son was sleeping, she said.

One bullet was found on the living room floor and two bullet holes were found in the wall next to a closet, according to Selzer.

Outside, police found several shell casings and 19 marks on a brick wall bullets ricocheted off, he said.

Police think multiple shooters fired three or four weapons, Selzer said.

Brand said she didn't know why anyone would shoot at either her or her sons and suggested that the attack may have been random.

Selzer said the recent shootings in Cape Girardeau were not random and that each location was specifically targeted.

So far in the investigation, similar names keep surfacing when interviewing witnesses, Selzer said, but witnesses did not identify those people as the shooters. He declined to comment about why the names came up but said, "There's a reason and a message being sent here."

Police are unsure about a motive, how the shootings might be connected or who the suspects may be.

Some witnesses have not been as forthcoming as police would like, according to Selzer. "We're not getting that kind of cooperation," he said.

Brand said she feels lucky that she and her family escaped the shooting uninjured. "I feel very blessed because it could have been worse," she said.

kmorrison@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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