COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A weekend shooting at Lakebottom Park has some residents on edge and questioning the safety at the park. Law enforcement in Columbus say they have always worked to keep residents feeling secure.
Over the past two years crime has made its way to the Lakebottom area. There were razor blades taped to playground equipment, a robbery turned murder, a brutal stabbing last week and this weekend the latest crime occurred.
Two 16-year-old girls tell police they were walking through Lakebottom Park when they saw a young black man holding a handgun, crouch behind a car. They got scared and started running and that's when they say they heard gunshots.
One of the girls was shot in the leg. She was treated at the Medical Center and police named their primary suspect, 19-year-old Jonathan Jawon Williams.
Although this shooting was a shock to the area, police say they have always patrolled the Lakebottom area and they will continue to do so.
Columbus Crime Prevention Director Seth Brown said, "In some cases there is nothing we can say that will put people at ease, but you always need to be aware of your surroundings. If it doesn't look right or it doesn't feel right you need to leave the situation and inform somebody."
Brown says incidents like this could happen anywhere, and residents shouldn't avoid public places, "You shouldn't fear the parks. The parks are one of the safest places you could be at this point as far as taking your children. There are tons of people out, enjoying the weather as it is."
Despite the weekend shooting, Lakebottom Park was still full of people enjoying the area Monday, and Brown says he hopes that is because people understand that they are safe, "The statistics don't lie, it's not getting worse, it's getting better in Columbus. You can look at the statistics on our website, the mayor's website, CPD's website and they will show you that crime is on a downward trend, violent crime is going down in Columbus, Georgia. It's just an unfortunate incident that happened here in Lakebottom."
Columbus police are still looking for 19-year old Jonathan Jawon Williams. He is described as 5'2", 114 pounds, with short black dread locks with orange tips. He is considered armed and dangerous.
If you have any information on where he may be, you are asked to call police at (706)653-3400.