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Suspected shooter arrested, awaiting charges in nightclub death

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Cape Girardeau County/Bollinger County Major Case Squad is investigating a deadly shooting early Sunday morning at The Spot, 433 South Sprigg St. in Cape Girardeau. According to a news release 32-year-old Nicholas D. Gilbert of Sikeston, Mo., was found inside the nightclub after the Cape Girardeau Police Department responded to a report of shots fired. The call came in just before 1 a.m.
(Adam Vogler)
The suspected gunman in the shooting death of a 32-year-old Sikeston, Mo., man was in custody awaiting charges late Sunday night, an arrest that came less than 20 hours after police rushed to a shots-fired call at a south Cape Girardeau nightclub.

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.



Pertinent address:

433 S. Sprigg St., Cape Girardeau, Mo..

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Two armed robberies and a murder in a 12 hour period?

That small-town feel is starting to wear off.

-- Posted by Jason on Sun, Dec 16, 2012, at 9:44 AM

Could this be the same person?


-- Posted by Tech_Dude on Sun, Dec 16, 2012, at 11:57 AM

Live by the sword . . . die by the sword

-- Posted by glock_556 on Sun, Dec 16, 2012, at 12:31 PM

I think it is sad turning a funeral home into a bar.And even worse someone being murdered there also.

-- Posted by 314djhh on Sun, Dec 16, 2012, at 1:11 PM

Would be the same age Tech.... Probably so.

-- Posted by Bahama on Sun, Dec 16, 2012, at 1:33 PM

Let's wait for some more details before voicing an opinion..please

-- Posted by pietreface on Sun, Dec 16, 2012, at 5:23 PM


-- Posted by NoDisclosure on Sun, Dec 16, 2012, at 5:27 PM

Um, the victim's arrest record is published, why?

-- Posted by bbqman on Sun, Dec 16, 2012, at 6:34 PM

What does his past have to do with his murder yall are wrong for publishing his past i would sue.

-- Posted by Drell1985 on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 12:40 AM

I wanna know why the victims past is made public what does that have to do with anything r.i.p nick.

-- Posted by Drell1985 on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 12:47 AM

What are you going to sue for ? telling the truth dip

-- Posted by ssinteriors on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 7:07 AM

This article is written like the murdered man is on trial. I think this is the first article I've read from the Southeast Missourian that was written with disregard for a grieving family. Scott Moyers this article is classless and represents this honorable newspaper in negative light. Please consider crime victim's families when you write in the future.

-- Posted by codybrown on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 8:23 AM

His criminal past is a huge part of this story. How could anyone overlook this young man's extensive criminal record. Shot at 16, arrested for shooting at other people...etc..

His criminal record seems to of been a big part of this young mans life.

The owner of the club is carrying the burden for this man getting shot...this man would of been shot regardless of where he was at most likely. There are alot of other people who have been victimized by this event...not just the individual who is deceased. How about the man's child???

-- Posted by Its me on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 11:15 AM

I agree that this is not the fault of the nightclub owner, but they are responsible for the security of the club. They have the same typw of customers that the old club on Broadway did. At least they did not allow people in the"club" with firearms. The owner knows exactly what type of customers they are allowing in the "club". Go by there on a Friday or Saturday night and see if you would feel comfortable going into that "club". People should not be allowed to congreate in the parking lot or sit in the cars on the parking lot. Most of the incidents occur in the parking lot.

-- Posted by cartman89 on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 11:53 AM

I feel that posting the deceased past criminal record has nothing to do with the fact that he was murdered!!! As a response for the person that said he would be shot no matter where he was located, my question to you is are you God. It seems you can predict the future!!! No it's not the owners fault that Nick was shot inside the club. However it is the owners job to make sure security measures are in place so that club goers are not allowed to bring weapons inside. This newspaper and some of the people who have commented on this story need to learn some respect!!! RIL my big cousin Nicholas G.

-- Posted by Teresa Jones-Scott on Tue, Dec 18, 2012, at 12:48 PM

Why is Nicks arrest record being published? It seems like you (the writer) is trying to justify this killing. Lets talk about how this common thug enter this funeral home/ nightclub with a fire arm and killed this man if the crime rate is so high in this area why is the club still open. I also think that this writer who published his arrest record should consider this young mans mother and family, because how would u feel if this was your child or someone in your family so lets think before we speak!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by bjones8368 on Tue, Dec 18, 2012, at 12:57 PM

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