Week of violent crimes in Springfield leaves many seeking a larger conversation

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 10:56 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A week filled with multiple violent crimes across Springfield has left community members seeking a larger conversation related to crime.

Police are investigating two homicides and two shootings that happened outside of convenience stores.

  • On Monday, officers found a man dead inside a home on West Page Street.
  • On Tuesday, an officer involved-shooting happened at the Kum and Go near US 65 and Kearney.
  • Wednesday morning, gunfire took place at a busy intersection near Sunshine and Kansas Expressway.
  • Early Thursday morning, KY3 learned a man had been shot to death along East Chestnut Street.

On Thursday, police found Bobby Gooch, 18, in the middle of Chestnut Street near Delaware Avenue. A couple living nearby heard thumping on the side of the house.

“I look out my window, and I see someone stumbling out into the road,” Lucas Migliazzo said. “And basically they fall over the median, drag themselves onto Chestnut Expressway, they flop over on their back and they just kind of stopped moving.”

Police say Gooch suffered a gunshot wound and later died at a hospital.

”These incidents illustrate the growing problem in our city of gun violence,” Jean Knapp with Moms Demand Action said. “And it affects the lives of citizens and the work that law enforcement does.”

These crimes spread across town, which was a noticeable trend for those concerned.

”It shows also that the shootings can occur anywhere in our city, not just in one particular area,” Knapp said.

While not every neighborhood has experienced violent crimes in the past, it is an issue most say still needs attention.

”We understand there is a finite amount of those resources, be they personnel, be they funding, programmatic,” Rountree Neighborhood Association President Mike Brothers said.

Some said it requires wider discussions on crime.

”We understand that honestly it’s not just our city issue,” Brothers said. “It’s a county issue with the jail. It’s a state issue with our public defenders and our criminal justice system. So we think there needs to be a much bigger conversation around all those things.”

Brothers said he hopes the new Greene County jail will help alleviate some of these issues.

Some say those conversations do not just apply to one group.

”I think that all stakeholders need to work together with citizens and leaders to come up with a plan that’s tailored to Springfield,” Knapp said. “First identifying the details and characteristics of gun violence in our city. Then tailor interventions to address those issues.”

KY3 reached out to the Springfield Police Department for comment. Representatives said they did not have more information they could share at this time. KY3 also reached out to Mayor Ken McClure who declined to comment.

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