Other than to confirm the suspect was a male, police offered little else to identify the alleged shooter of Nicholas D. Gilbert, the man who was found fatally wounded at about 1 a.m. at the South Sprigg Street nightclub called The Spot. Charges had been applied for to the Cape Girardeau County prosecuting attorney's office, police said, but they added that they did not expect any to be filed until at least this morning.
"They're still doing something with the collection of evidence," Cape Girardeau Police Department spokesman Jason Selzer said Sunday night. "So nothing else is happening tonight."
The Cape Girardeau/Bollinger County Major Case Squad issued two news releases after it was activated Sunday -- one at 8 p.m. to announce the arrest that followed the first at 6 a.m. to announce the shooting.
News of the arrest came after a daylong investigation by the multi-agency Major Case Squad, which is called on to piece together the area's most serious crimes, mostly murders. The squad was activated during the overnight hours after police found Gilbert near death at the nightclub.
Earlier Sunday, an officer stood guard at the nightclub's front door as other police secured the scene. Members of the squad came and went throughout the day for "evidence reasons," said Darin Hickey, another department spokesman.
With the investigation ongoing, several authorities declined to comment beyond the news releases, including Cape Girardeau County Coroner John Clifton, the one who pronounced Gilbert dead. Clifton said he did not want to hinder the investigation.
Lt. Mark Majoris, the Cape Girardeau police detective who heads the squad, also declined to speak to the media, except to say the investigation continues.
The club's owner, Ullanda Jackson, was at The Spot at the time of the shooting. When the shots rang out, her customers bolted for the door, she said.
"It was frightening," Jackson said.
Jackson, who has owned the club for 18 months, said she was not familiar with the victim.
When the conversation with Jackson turned to the club's security measures, Jackson abruptly ended the interview.
"I don't want to do this -- I really don't," she said before hanging up.
Jackson also works as an accounting clerk at Southeast Missouri State University.
The south-city neighborhood was busier than usual with activity in the hours after the shooting. On Sunday afternoon, residents of a nearby house sat on the porch and talked about the shooting, although they all declined to go on the record with a reporter.
Linda K. Hale, who lives next to the nightclub with her husband and nephew, was one of the few residents who didn't mince words. She didn't hear gunfire Sunday morning, but she was awakened by the sounds of sirens. Shortly thereafter, she saw the streets lined with several police cars, ambulances and fire trucks, she said.
Hale saw dozens of people standing around outside the club as well, many across the street in parking lot of Midwest Engine.
The club, Hale said, has been a detriment to the neighborhood for years. Since it was converted to a nightclub from a funeral home several years ago, Hale has had to watch as its customers urinated in her yard, as police broke up fights and she suffered loud noise that lasts until past 1 a.m., she said.
"This is a very good reason to think about shutting it down," Hale said.
A cursory review of police reports show that, in 2012, several items have been reported stolen, including a car, a part of a fence and a purse. A burglary, one report of drug possession and receiving stolen property are among the others.
Little was known about the victim, although one acquaintance, who asked that his name not be used, described him as "casual" and "laid back." Two Sikeston funeral homes said they had yet to receive word whether they would be handling arrangements.
Gilbert, who had at least one son, had seen his share of trouble with law enforcement. In 1996, at age 16, he was shot as he sat in his car near a Sikeston intersection by someone in the vehicle next to his.
Gilbert has pleaded guilty to a drug charge and driving with a suspended license, and several times for failure to appear in court. He also admitted to leaving the scene of an accident.
In 2007, Gilbert was arrested in connection with an early morning shooting in which Sikeston police responded to a call of shots fired and found two victims with minor injuries.
Gilbert was charged with two counts of first-degree assault and armed criminal action for the shooting, but it wasn't immediately clear how that case concluded.
The shooting has the potential to become Cape Girardeau's third homicide this year. In May, coroner Clifton ruled a May shooting involving two Arizona men a murder-suicide. The men, Richard M. Carrube, 23, and Joshua Adams, 31, were found lying in a driveway on Landgraf Drive the morning of May 18. Police believe the two shooting followed an argument.
In September, Steven Lee Williams of Cape Girardeau was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Darcus T. Purl. Williams, who has a court appearance today for a case review, allegedly shot Purl because he had become romantically involved with Williams' ex-girlfriend.
433 S. Sprigg St., Cape Girardeau, Mo..