Columbus church caught in crossfire of recent shooting

Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 12:26 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - We have reaction tonight from the pastor of a Columbus church at the corner of Farr Road, where several shootings have happened. He says his building was caught in the crossfire of one of the most recent shootings.

After several shootings in south Columbus, one pastor is speaking out, saying something has to change.

“I’m saddened about the activity that has taken place, not just because of the church, but just because of the type of activity that it is,” said Pastor David Stallion.

Pastor Stallion has pastored Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church for six years. He says this ladder inside the church sits where a bullet hole was patched up. Pastor Stallion says remnants of a recent shooting are seen here in one of the church’s windows. He says a bullet went through the wall during the incident that injured three people outside the Chevron gas station across the street. Now, in addition to praying, he’s meeting with local officials.

“Engaging in conversation, of course, with, you know, city officials and law enforcement,” said Pastor Stallion.

Since that weekend shooting, the windows of that gas station have been boarded up.

“If nothing else, it sends a message in terms of where we are right now in our community and so, we’re in sad times,” said Pastor Stallion.

“And if we do not remove this threat from our from our community, that this threat may take over our community to one day,” said Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman.

Sheriff Countryman heads up the city’s gang task force. He says too many shootings happen at the hands of irresponsible people.

“As Sheriff, I believe in the Second Amendment right, I believe in the right to bear arms,” said Sheriff Countryman. “But I believe that guns have to be in the hands of responsible individuals and not for gang banging.”

Countryman says he and his deputies will arrest every person pulling the trigger.

“We have something that we will be rolling out in the next few weeks to let them know,” said Sheriff Countryman. “We’re not playing with them.”

Thankfully, no one was inside the church when the bullet pierced the wall. Pastor Stallion says the church will also relocate by the end of the year to make room for the new interchange.

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