Violent crime on Victory Dr. in Columbus causing safety concerns

Violent crime on Victory Dr. in Columbus causing safety concerns

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Another shooting on Columbus’ southside left a man dead over the weekend.

This makes the fifth murder in less than two weeks in Columbus. The location of the most recent murder on Victory Drive accounts for the third murder in the same location within six months.

These violent crimes are leading people to ask questions about the safety and security of that area. Some said to close the nearby establishments, others argue the crime would just move.

News Leader 9 put in an open records request for one hot spot we’re looking into, which is the 3000 block of Victory Drive. There have been several shootings over the past few weeks, two people are dead and at one crime scene, there were more than 60 evidence markers scattered on the ground.

“Some folks out there, they don’t have respect for life and we’re seeing more and more younger people dying as well," Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said.

“It’s not something we’re going to be able to allow to continue here in Columbus, Georgia," Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson added.

The 3000 block of Victory Drive is home to two establishments where shootings seem to happen often in the parking lot. Three people now dead because of shootings there within the past six months. Some residents are asking for more police.

“Cops were, from what I heard, investigating from one murder, Terrance Flowers said. "And right around the street, another one happened. So, I don’t think the people who are committing these crimes really care about the cops or them doing patrols.”

Bryan said what this community really needs are answers and people to come to police with what they know.

“Everybody staying zipped lip," Bryan said. "You know better than they do what’s going on, where the trouble spots are. So, if you want a safer Columbus, Georgia, then you need to speak up.”

Some are asking the city to close the businesses, hoping that will reduce the gunfire in the area. Others said that’s not a reasonable solution.

“If people are congregating at an establishment and you close that establishment, what’s going to happen is, it’s going to migrate to another establishment,” Flowers said.

“We’ll speak with the owner and if we can’t get some sort of resolution. There are legal remedies we can and will take. We’re going to do what we have to do to try to remove any facility or location that seems to be attracting a heavy amount of gun violence," Henderson said.

Henderson said it’s safe to say his office will be in communication with the two businesses near where all these crimes are happening. He said every establishment has a right to flourish, but community safety is number one priority.

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