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‘We’re losing too many people in Columbus’: Nearby businesses react to Olde Towne Drive homicide

The victim was a 50-year-old man safely located after going missing Tuesday only to end up dead less than 24 hours later
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 3:21 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - We have new details on a shooting in a Columbus subdivision.

One man is now dead, and another is facing murder charges.

We have reaction tonight from employees who were working near the crime scene.

None of the employees that News Leader 9 talked to heard any gunshots.

One of them was headed back to work after getting food and described a chaotic scene filled with many cop cars.

However, both men say they’re not shocked because of how often gun violence happens in Columbus.

“It’s really a shame,” said Vernon Williams, owner of Finish Kicks and Apparel. “We’re losing too many people in Columbus, Georgia and it’s not called for.”

Williams’ store is located off Milgen Road. But, Williams says his shop is much more than a stop to cop the latest heat.

He often spends a lot of time talking to his younger customers.

“It’s just not a place to buy shoes,” said Williams. “It’s more about motivation, encouragement and inspiration. So I’ll bring them here and talk to then, put them under my wing.”

This Army veteran also runs a nonprofit called Prosperity Kings Ministries International outside of work.

“Primarily it’s just about mentorship...I’ve been to Carver High School already talking about entrepreneurship, gang life, and drug life,” said Williams.

Williams said his efforts are one of many the city needs after another man lost his life at the hands of gun violence across the street from Williams’ store.

Police say around 1 p.m., they arrived at Olde Towne Drive, where they found 50-year-old John Bishop suffering from gunshot wounds.

Tuesday, Bishop had been safely located after being reported missing earlier that day, only to end up dead less than 24 hours later.

“All we heard was sirens, no, nothing,” said Williams. “And of course, how we are nosy. Okay, all the sirens and when you hear five minutes of sirens, 20 cars out there, you know, you go outside and look.”

“I was going to get McDonald’s and outside and as I was walking back from McDonald’s, I saw that there was an ambulance and a bunch of police cars over in the neighborhood over there and got nervous and called somebody,” said Williams.

While on the scene, police arrested Dante Williams, who’s now facing murder charges.

“I actually came in here told her about it and then we ended up going outside and watching them take the body away.”

With the scene unfolding down the road from an elementary school, Vernon Williams expressed that the violence needs to stop, saying, “There’s so much more that Columbus has to offer and we just have to be willing to step up and play that role and assist this younger generation in Columbus.”

Williams is scheduled to appear in Recorders Court Thursday at 9 a.m. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to leave an anonymous tip by calling Columbus Crime Stoppers at 706-653-3188.

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