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Community reacts to four Columbus shootings in 24 hours

Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 8:48 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Some people in south Columbus say they don’t feel safe there because of recent shootings. Now, they’re thinking of leaving the area.

According to police, four people were shot Thursday night.

“Once everything started lifting and people were allowed to move around more, it seemed like the crime has got worse,” said Phenix City resident Raychelle Joseph.

Police say the man shot on Sweetwater Drive Thursday night has now passed away. Hours after that, three people were shot on Bowie Avenue. One of those victims is in critical condition.

“They’re all, just senseless crimes and I just pray that it all ends,” said Joseph.

Wednesday, 25-year-old Kivonte Clark was also shot at the Chevron gas station on Farr Road. In November, someone was also shot at that gas station. Nearly two weeks after that, a man died after he was shot at the M.K. Mart next door. In December, Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman says one of his deputies were injured during an encounter with a stolen vehicle on Toney Drive and Wilshire Street.

News Leader 9 spoke with one of Clark’s family friends who says he’s tired of the crime in South Columbus.

“These people out here, they’ll tell you, ‘they’d rather be caught with a gun than without a gun’ and that’s sad,” said Columbus resident Johnny Chesser.

Chesser says the problem has gotten so out of hand, that he’s ready to pack his bags and move away.

“It’s ridiculous out here what’s going on,” said Chesser. “You can’t walk down the street. You can’t even pull up and get gas. Instead of going in, I use the card right quick and get on about my business.”

Some say the real problem is parenting.

“Parents are not stepping up to the plate,” said Rodney Close, President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Chattahoochee Valley. “They’re relying on educators. They’re relying on other youth programs to help.”

Aside from parenting, some also say Columbus children need more positive male figures in their life.

“What we’re seeing in our community, not just in Columbus, within the city is a lack of a lot of male role models inside of the homes,” said Close.

Stay with News Leader 9 online and on-air for the latest updates on the condition of the person shot on Bowie Avenue.

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