2012 shaping up to be a murderous year in Columbus - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

2012 shaping up to be a murderous year in Columbus

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

In 2008, Columbus had one of the highest murder rates with 30. The number significantly decreased over the years, but we're not even half way through 2012 and already a dozen people have been killed.

So far this year, the Columbus Police Department has investigated 12 murders in the city.  That is close to the total number of murders that took place in both 2010 and 2011 combined.

The crimes are spread all over the map, not just in one central location. News Leader 9 rode along with a patrol sergeant as he gave us a closer look at what police are looking for when they investigate these crimes.

Sergeant Clyde Brundage with the Columbus Police Department said, "We look for traffic violations, which gives you a reason to pull the car over. If the person doesn't have a driver's license, or there is contraband in the car, or if they are anywhere near where a crime was just reported and they fit the description, which would be something we are looking for."

Sgt. Brundage says he has been in law enforcement for more than 30 years and people have some misconceptions about bad parts of town.  "It doesn't matter where you live, crime is everywhere.  Areas all over town, all over Columbus, experience crime, whether it is a car break-in or someone breaks into your home."

Just this year, the most violent crimes have taken place in north Columbus, the downtown area, near Fort Benning and in between.  Of the dozen murders, seven of the victims were either related to or close friends with their killers.  Five are classified as random shootings or crimes of passion.

"People commit crimes out of anger. So they aren't thinking about what they are doing or they couldn't care less. Maybe they have already been in prison before and they feel like they could handle it, or maybe they feel the justice system will go easy on them," Sgt. Brundage added.

Police say even though the numbers are high so far this year, that isn't necessarily an indication they will keep rising. 

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