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Fencing has been constructed on the top level of the Fifth and Walnut parking garage in downtown Columbia (March 4, 2022 file photo courtesy of Columbia spokeswoman Sydney Olsen)

Columbia Police investigating weekend death at downtown’s tallest parking garage

Fencing has been constructed on the top level of the Fifth and Walnut parking garage in downtown Columbia (March 4, 2022 file photo courtesy of Columbia spokeswoman Sydney Olsen)

Columbia Police are investigating a weekend falling death at the Fifth and Walnut parking garage downtown. It’s unclear if the man jumped or fell to his death early Saturday afternoon.

A 939 the Eagle News reporter saw the young man standing outside the fence on the top floor, on a ledge facing the post office. Police officers on-scene told us he was on the roof for more than 90 minutes. 939 the Eagle saw at least two CPD crisis negotiators on the rooftop speaking to the man. The man looked down at the ground numerous times and also looked straight up at the sky once. Paramedics were stationed nearby and immediately performed CPR on the man on the street.

The Fifth and Walnut garage is downtown’s largest garage. It has seen at least nine suicides since it opened in 2011.

The city has spent $831,000 on suicide prevention measures since it opened: they finished a $489,000  project to install fencing on the garage’s top level and they also spent $342,000 to install 150 steel window coverings on floors five through eight. It’s unclear how the man got over the fence and onto the ledge, facing the post office downtown.

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