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Several shootings over a short period of time in Columbus spark concerns for residents

Updated: Oct. 1, 2019 at 6:27 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Two separate shootings happening just hours apart turned deadly in Columbus.

Most recently, detectives were called to Springfield Crossing Apartments on North Lumpkin Road Tuesday morning. That’s where they found a woman in the parking lot who was later pronounced dead.

Just six hours prior, there was another unrelated shooting. Two young men were shot at the Petro gas station on Macon Road. Somehow, one of the victims ended up down the street at the Shell gas station near Flat Rock Road and later died.

Investigators are searching for their killers. This makes seven shootings over the last eight days with three of them fatal.

People in the community said they are nervous. They said hearing there have been so many shootings over such a short period of time is frightening. Police, on the other hand, said there is something you can do to stay safe.

A woman who lives near one of Monday night’s two murder victims is afraid in her own neighborhood.

“That was somebody’s mom, somebody’s sister," she said. "That’s not okay.”

She didn’t want to share her identity, but she said she heard the shots fired.

One shooting Monday afternoon left a 21-year-old Justis Bolen dead and another victim injured. Then a few hours later, the homicide unit went from one scene to another.

“There’s one thing in the 40 years I’ve been a police officer, there’s not much police can do about such things as this,” said Maj. J.D. Hawk.

The Homicide Unit was still investigating the second homicide well into Tuesday. The victim is 45-year-old Lachasta Giles.

When officials arrived on North Lumpkin Road, Giles was dead from a gunshot wound in the roadway in front of an apartment building.

“I don’t want to be here because I can’t," one neighbor said. "I have a child, it’s not safe here.”

Hawk said people need to stay out of situations where they could be robbed, shot, or killed. He also urges people with information to come forward to make the community a safer place.

“Somebody knows something about these shootings," Hawk said. "All of them, somebody knows something.”

According to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan, there have been 28 homicides in Columbus in 2019, three in the last eight days. To compare this to prior years, in 2018 there were 27 homicides as of October 1 and 33 as of October 1, 2017.

Police said they are looking for a vehicle suspected of being involved in the Macon Road shooting, a gray four-door sedan with dark tinted windows. If you have any information on either murder -- Macon Road or North Lumpkin Road -- you’re asked to call CPD.

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