(WTVM) - There's no good spin to put on the number of homicides in Columbus so far this year.
With three months still left in the year, we've already hit the same number of homicides as all of last year: 17.
Five of those murders are unsolved, with no suspects or arrests.
The violent tone started the first day of 2013 with the murder of Charles Foster, a 24-year-old Columbus State University student killed at a nightclub.
The same kinds of tragedies play out in Phenix City too, where there are 17 unsolved murder cases dating back at least a decade.
In the month of September alone, we had four shootings in Columbus, two of them fatal.
One of those took the life of 21-year old Harry Short Junior, a former Chatahoochee Valley Community College student.
Columbus must be united in saying 'enough is enough!!
Dozens recently gathered at a stop the violence rally to draw attention to the problem. That's fine, but until witnesses stand up, not much will change.
If someone can help police, they are often discouraged to do so, because some say "snitches get stitches."
Witnesses stay silent out of fear.
But remember, it isn't just the police who need a witness' help. Families deserve answers and the victim deserves justice.
We encourage witnesses to violent crime to have the courage and compassion to speak up and help bring an end to this violent cycle of death.
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906