Mayor Tomlinson responds to spike in 2017 Columbus homicides

(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - An 18-year-old was shot and killed on Henson Drive early Thursday morning, which pushes Columbus to tie the amount of homicides that happened in 2016.

According to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan, the Henson Avenue homicide marks the 26th homicide of the year; there were 26 homicides total last year.

"We have 21 murders this year they are all gun related murders," says Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.

The mayor says for crime purposes you want to look at whether someone intended to harm someone else that is why she says there are 21 murders versus Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan's number of 26 homicides.

"You can report both sets of numbers but it is not instructive for crime purposes to consider homicides because sometimes they are violence related," Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson urges people in Columbus to not stay in abusive relationships, don't hang around people with risk based lives, and don't carry guns.

"If we did those three things we would cut our murder rate down to zero or very close to it," she says.

Columbus police say they are in ongoing daily investigations to crack down on suspects behind the crimes.

"We have made 13 arrests in the 21 murders. We have suspects in three others so we do look to get these culprits off the street to make our community safer, our police officers are doing a great job," says Tomlinson.

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