Columbus residents sound off on three homicides within 36-hour span

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 5:54 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A record year of violent crime in Columbus saw a surge this week - with lives being lost back to back in what is now becoming an unsettling feeling for many citizens around Columbus.

“We’re not going to standby idle and watch people commit crime and not do anything,” said Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon in an interview with News Leader 9 Monday when asked about the issue of crime in Columbus.

Many citizens who spoke with News Leader 9 wonder if there’s more than could be done to help solve the issue.

“If you can arm yourselves,” said one man who did not want to be identified.

A Columbus woman, who also did not wish to be identified said, “I’d like to see the leadership step in and help with addressing the crime.”

Richard Longhi, another Columbus man’s response, “Unfortunately, it’s up to law enforcement and we just don’t have that presence right now.”

The latest person to die from gun violence in Columbus was on Tuesday evening. Police say 39-year-old Walter Christopher was shot at the MK Mart convenience store on Farr Road around 7:45 p.m. He later died at the hospital.

Harold Elam, a Columbus man, told News Leader 9, “Our folks getting killed everyday. Everyday. Ages 15 to 40.”

Another man, Joshua Cartwright said, “It’s been numerous of bodies, it’s a tragedy.”

Just 12 hours before the death of 39-year-old Christopher, 32-year-old Marcus Jones was killed on 23rd Street just after 8 p.m. And earlier that day, 45-year-old business owner Amit Patel was gun downed at a Synovus Bank on Buena Vista Road. That bank is adjacent to a police precinct.

In an exclusive interview with News Leader 9, members of the Retail Association of Columbus said they want to feel safe in the Fountain City.

“If it happens right next to the police station and the bank parking lot, we don’t know where to go,” said Alex Patel, a Columbus business owner.

In an interview with News Leader 9 Monday, Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon, said CPD is doing their very best to put people in jail who commit violent crime. However, no word yet on if any arrest have been made in any of the three latest homicides.

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