More than 1,000 'shots heard' calls in Springfield, Mo. in 2018

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- It's sure to shake you up, but tough for police to track down. There were more than 1,000 'shots heard calls' inside Springfield city limits in 2018. People in one northwest Springfield neighborhood say they heard a lot of shots fired late Sunday night-- multiple rounds three different times, about 20 minutes apart each time.

Police came out, looked around, but so far, have turned up nothing.

Residents say it's an all too common occurrence.

It's the same story played out time after time.

"It sounded like a pistol. Maybe a .22 or a .38. It was like two separate gun shots. It was 3 or 4 at once, then 20 minutes later it was like same thing, 3, 4, maybe 5 shots!" said David Ball. It startled him from inside his living room.

A couple blocks over, Tila Wilson heard the shots, too.

"I did wake up this morning thinking 'how would I tell the insurance company if there was a gunshot in my car or something'?"

Early Friday morning on North Nettleton, residents reported hearing gunfire. Officers went out to investigate, and the shooter was gone.

"What we're seeing, too, is not only the drive-by shootings, but we've seen this a little bit more frequently is where suspects are actually exiting the car and walking and shooting a house and then fleeing back either on foot or back to their car. We've seen that as well," said Springfield police Lt. Culley Wilson. He says if you can *safely* get a license plate number, then do. Otherwise, stay put and don't try to be a hero.

"It was pretty frightening, and I knew it was gunshots. I looked over at my buddy and asked and he said yep, that's definitely not fireworks, it's gunshots," Ball said. "Ya know, there is a lot of thieving going on and I wish we could do something to cut down all this-- it's just been a real problem. Bicycles and cell phones are always coming up missing from people and it's like-- something that needs to be remedied."

Most all of these 'shots fired calls' or even drive-by shootings are not random acts, but rather between people who know each other and have beef with each other.

If a person is caught-- it is a felony every time, whether it's unlawful use of a weapon, or assault, or a number of other possible charges.