911 calls, report provide new details about shooting near Holiday in the City events

A dozen people called 911 after shots were fired near the Christmas tree on the Esplanade in downtown Springfield on Friday night, and the person who was shot in the arm told officers he made eye contact with the shooter before being hit by a bullet.

Those are new details in an incident report and 911 calls regarding the shooting near Holiday in the City events obtained by the Springfield News-Sun using public records laws.

Officers responded to a call of a man shot near the CoHatch building at 101 S. Fountain Ave. around 8 p.m. Friday. Two officers found a man who had a gunshot wound to his upper right arm, according to a Springfield Police Division incident report.

The man told police he saw a black SUV pull up near a crowd of people near the CoHatch building, and he heard a group of 10 or more people arguing. The people in the SUV exited the vehicle to confront the group in the street, and one man wearing a black hoodie and mask pointed a gun into the air and fired one round.

The victim said he ran from the scene, turning back briefly to look behind him. He said that’s when he made eye contact with a young looking male who pointed a gun at him and fired shots.

A man who was helping the victim when police arrived told officers that he was walking to his car, parked behind the library, when he heard four gunshots. He began to walk toward the gunfire when he saw the victim running across the parking lot.

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“Help! Someone call the police! I’ve been shot,” the victim screamed, according to the incident report.

The victim sustained injuries not considered life-threatening, according to the incident report. He was transported to Springfield Regional Medical Center for treatment. No additional information was available on the victim.

No other injuries were reported, according to a release from the city Friday.

A dozen people called in to emergency services Friday evening to report the shots fired. Several callers reported seeing a fight of some kind and a group of teenagers leaving the area by vehicles. The number of shots heard by callers varied, ranging from two to four.

One 911 caller reported seeing a skinny, young looking male carrying a pistol in his hoodie and walking near the Marriott Hotel after the shooting.

“He’s carrying a sweatshirt with a pistol in it,” the caller said. “He went toward the tracks in that parking lot. He’s a young man, he’s young.”

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Crime scene tape blocked off an area of downtown Springfield on Fountain Avenue near the Esplanade for about an hour near the Holiday in the City events.

Most Holiday in the City festivities — the grand illumination, arrival of Santa Claus — were over by that time, and streets closed had just reopened, but people still were in the area to see the lights and visit businesses that had extended hours.

Officers found several spent casings at the scene, as well as a black mask, a lanyard with keys and a tan hat and mask, the incident report showed.

“Officers are continuing to gather information at this time, and our investigation is very fluid,” Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf said in the city release Friday.

Requests to the chief’s office for additional comments on the investigation were not returned.

Charges had not been filed in connection to the shooting as of Tuesday.

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