Columbia shooting suspect added to TBI’s Top Ten List

Local News

The TBI has added Jamal Gardner to the statewide Top Ten Most Wanted list.  

He’s suspected of shooting “multiple rounds for several minutes” at Columbia police officers Saturday.

While no one was injured in the shootout, police released disturbing body cam footage with the sound of shots being fired at officers (Viewer discretion strongly advised): 

Columbia police said 47-year-old Jamal Jamel Gardner is wanted for attempted first-degree murder, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and aggravated domestic assault. 

Lt. Jeremy Haywood said, “The night of the incident he was on foot when he left the house, but at this point, we certainly believe he has access to other vehicles. We have no possible sightings and no info at this time about current whereabouts. Very few leads have been provided, so anyone with information we certainly would like for them to contact us.”

Police told News 2 that Gardner has a “distinct look”. Gardner is 6’5″ tall and weighs about 290 lbs. He has a tattoo of the letter ‘M’ on his neck. 

Police said Gardner lives on West 2nd Street in Columbia and is currently on probation for drug offenses.  

Gardner is accused of assaulting his girlfriend Saturday night during an argument, leaving the home, then being stopped by an officer in the driveway of a home he owns on West 13th Street.

As the officer got out of his vehicle, police said Gardner fired multiple rounds at the officer from a rifle, then retreated inside the home.

The officer was not injured, but a bullet did hit his cruiser, police said.

Investigators said Gardner continued firing shots from inside the home at responding officers, using multiple firearms over a length of time.

Police surrounded the home for hours but believe Gardner was able to flee beforehand.

Neighbors told News 2 that word of the shooting spread quickly on social media, and has left people on edge. 

Philips Brooks was at his home next door at the time of the shoot-out,

“…the shooting probably lasted 30 to 40 minutes, not continuous… but during that time frame there was multiple shots.” 

Brooks said he believes some of the bullets ricocheted off of his vehicle. He added that he only briefly talked to the suspect, but never would’ve expected this to take place. 

“…they were quiet people, they usually kept to themselves. It’s a quiet little street you wouldn’t expect a shoot-out right next to my house.” 

Authorities say Gardner should be considered armed and dangerous and anyone who spots hime should contact 911 or call 1-800-TBI-FIND immediately. 

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