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Man dies after shooting in north Springfield; city’s 16th reported homicide of 2020

Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 6:44 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 13, 2020 at 5:27 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Crime scene detectives are investigating a deadly shooting Thursday morning in north Springfield.

This is the 16th homicide in Springfield so far this year, which ties the city record from 2018 and puts Springfield on track for a record-breaking homicide rate.

Police have identified the victim as Travis Gauch, a 24-year-old man from Mountain Grove, Missouri. Next of kin have been notified.

Investigators say it happened in the 700 block of West Chicago near Kearney and Grant. A man was shot in one homeowner’s backyard just after 2 a.m. Thursday.

“This was my driveway right here, and this would be the window where the couch sits and that’s where I looked out last night,” said neighbor Courtney Miller.

Miller said she was getting ready for bed when she heard one single gunshot.

”I thought it was a firecracker, I even said to myself I said that’s a firecracker, that’s not a gunshot,” she said. “Then I heard a couple of people talking, they scurried off and one turned the front porch light on. Next thing I know, there’s a couple of officers at my door letting me know there was a shooting.“

Lt. Curt Ringgold with Springfield police said the gunshot victim was found near a shed behind the home on West Chicago, but the people living inside of the home don’t know what happened.

”When we got here they did come out and talk to us but they had no information to tell us what happened prior to, or even anything to tell us about the gunshot, or the shooting,” Lt. Ringgold said.

Police say the people who live at the house let random people stay in the shed. Multiple neighbors KY3 spoke with said there is always heavy foot traffic around the home and many of the people come carrying backpacks.

“They tend to have a lot of activity, they welcome almost anybody, so I take it they have a lot of friends,” Miller said.

Lt. Ringgold says they do not have any leads on a suspect right now. Police believe the victim knew the shooter. Lt. Ringgold said he doesn’t believe the public is in any danger.

”We have some indication that the deceased subject was in the shed at one time, so we think somehow associated, we don’t think this is a random act of violence at all,” Lt. Ringgold said.

A description of the shooter hasn’t been released.

”I pray for the young man and his family, it’s not something you want to wake up to and get a phone call, that’s for sure,” Miller said.

If you have any additional information on the case, contact the Springfield Police Department at 417-864-1810 or make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at 417-869-TIPS (8477).

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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