(WTVM) - The new year was barely halfway through its first month before two homicides in Columbus made it a deadly start to 2017.
The two homicides may be related according to Columbus Police, but one thing is certain, two lives were lost for very little reason.
The first death was Dominique Horton, a 22-year-old man shot and killed in a group of young people who gathered to watch a fight between two young girls.
The video shows the general chaos of the event then you can hear a long volley of gunfire before it ends.
Eleven days later, 17-year-old Destiny Nelson was shot and killed at her apartment, in what police say may have been a case of mistaken identity in alleged retaliation for Horton's murder.
Police are thoroughly investigating both murders and we hope justice is eventually served in each case. Police believe it all may have stemmed from gang related activity.
But the gun violence that took both these young lives still remains unexplainable and unjustifiable. Petty arguments that escalate to fist fights are bad enough.
But introducing guns into volatile situations is almost always a recipe for disaster. Bringing a gun to a fight is a bad choice that leads to even worse choices. It's simply too easy to fire a gun in anger or during emotional turmoil.
One squeeze of the trigger is an act that can't be reversed and no regret, no matter how sincere, can change the stark reality of death.
Police still need your help if you have any information that could shed light on this dual tragedy.
In the meantime, parents, teachers, pastors, and coaches need to keep reminding young people that guns never resolve an argument and bullets fired in anger can never be taken back.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906
Copyright 2017 WTVM. All rights reserved.