COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A violent weekend plagued the city of Columbus with five shootings taking place between Friday night and Sunday morning, three of which were deadly.
Early Saturday morning 21-year-old Cross Henderson was shot and killed during a home invasion at his mother’s home in the Upatoi community.
These violent crimes coming just days before a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life, who embodied peace and non-violence.
Now the Columbus community is looking to city leaders for answers on how we can bring nonviolence back to Columbus.
‘Frustrated’ and ‘angry’ are the words Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson is using to describe his initial thoughts moments after finding out a 50-year-old, a 13-year-old and a 21-year-old were all killed in separate incidents Friday night.
“The folks committing these crimes are getting younger and younger," Mayor Henderson said. "They’re being taught by some of the older ones who are already involved in a life of crime.”
Just as frustrated as the rest of the community, Mayor Henderson is sharing his ideas on how to address violent crime moving forward.
“You know the bottom line is all of these things are interconnected," Mayor Henderson said. "It’s poverty. It’s mental and physical well-being. It’s education. The violent crime. They’re all connected, so I think what we’ve got to do is attack it from a number of different angles.”
“For me, it’s scary to hear about," one woman said.
“You want to be able to come home and lay your head down and not have to worry about people coming in and possibly taking your stuff and killing you," a man added.
“Trying to go places on my own,” another woman said, “it’s hard to do that and feel safe.”
Mayor Henderson said leaders are coming together and working on plans to combat violent crime by including initiatives both new and old.
“One of them is a harder focus on gang activity at the local level," Mayor Henderson said, "we’ll have more details coming out about that in probably the next three or four days.”
The Office of Crime Prevention in Columbus received nearly $795,000 in fiscal year 2019. 2020 is slotted for $840,000. Mayor Henderson said he is planning to ask the board to focus those funds in crime-ridden areas.
Right now, police are not releasing any updates on the five shootings, which means there is no word on if any suspects are in custody.