January 27, 2023

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Automotive to Us

Man charged in motorcycle gang shooting that killed 1, wounded 4 on Lake Ozark strip

Prosecutors have charged a 50-year-old man in a shooting that left one man dead and four wounded Thursday on the strip in Lake Ozark during a confrontation between rival motorcycle gangs, according to news media reports.

Tonka Way-Con Ponder, of Preston, Missouri, was charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action in the shooting, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A warrant for his arrest was issued Friday, court records show.

The shooting unfolded about 7:45 p.m. outside Casablanca Pub and Grille on Bagnell Dam Boulevard. Businesses along that street are popular with locals and tourists at Lake of the Ozarks. Thursday was “bike night” at the bar and restaurant.

The man killed had not been identified as of Sunday afternoon. The conditions of the injured were unknown.

Officials said multiple people were initially detained after the shooting. Police said the gunfire was “gang related,” but have not disclosed which motorcycle clubs were involved.

“We can’t speak yet as to which clubs were involved,” Lake Ozark spokesman Dan Field told The Star on Friday. “That’s part of the ongoing investigation.”

A city news release said the fatal shooting was believed to be the first on the strip “in the history of the community.”

Citing charging documents, the Post-Dispatch reported that the man who was killed had pointed a weapon at Ponder, who was “engaged in a physical altercation with another subject.” Ponder, who was struck in the exchange of gunfire, also shot another man “as that man walked away,” the newspaper reported.

Miller County prosecutors have requested that Ponder’s bond be set at $100,000 and that he be placed on GPS monitoring, according to court records. They also asked that he be ordered not to have contact with the victims.

Ponder did not have an attorney listed as of Sunday who could be reached for comment.

It remained unclear if others have been charged in the shooting. A city spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating.