“Hardcore isn’t picking up a pistol and killing someone. That’s cowardly.” Columbus homeowners talk crime

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 10:41 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Hundreds of families in the Chattahoochee Valley have lost loved ones due to gun violence.

We’re taking a deeper look into one of the neighborhoods where homeowners tell us gunshots are fired there so often that they have become numb.

News Leader 9′s Ashlee Williams spent an afternoon on Clay Street, the site of a recent double murder, talking to several people about the state of the City of Columbus.

Two men explained three things that stood out: They consider the neighborhood to be a “good neighborhood,” gunshots are fired so often that it really no longer phases them, and lastly, they fully support our law enforcement officers, but say they need help from the community to succeed.

Running parallel to Winston Road, you may remember back in the 1970′s and 80′s, a large military population called the area home.

Fast forward 40 years, two men, who wish to remain anonymous, explain what it’s like living there now.

“So you’ve lived here for a decade. What’s it like?” Williams asked.

“It’s a good neighborhood. But it’s just the gun laws and gun control, gangs and stuff like that. But this right here, it’s not the guns, it’s who’s behind the guns. If children are behind the guns, they’re going to pull it without any remorse.”

Another man I spoke with agrees.

“Just gotta know where to go. I feel pretty good about it. I’ve never had any problems. I’ve been out here a year and never had any problems.”

“Do you hear gunshots often?” Williams asked the same man.

“I do,” he responded. “Which is not good.”

Williams asked both men about our local law enforcement presence in the area.

“Police need to step up and beef up control... heavy. They need to beef up heavy, and control the gangs. If they don’t control the gangs, it’s going to be continued killing.”

“They are very friendly,” said another man. “I have dealt with them, but there is just a lot of violence here. I don’t fault them, but the violence level down here is just very high.”

“Do you feel like gang activity and shootings have gotten worse in the decade you’ve lived in this neighborhood?” Williams asked the man who has lived there for ten years.

“All around Columbus it has, not just this neighborhood,” he responded. “All around Columbus. Everybody wants to be hardcore. Hardcore is get you a job and going to work. That’s hardcore. Hardcore isn’t picking up a pistol and killing someone. That’s cowardly.”

The men leave one last message to the citizens in Columbus:

“It needs to get better. It’s not fair. People are trying to live their life, working hard, and it’s not fair you go outside and get shot. Gang wars, it’s just not good. What I do, I just try to be in the house by dark.”

“All you young guys with those guns, lay them down. Once you pull that trigger and take a life, you’re going to see it over and over again.”

The two women killed recently on Clay Street are being laid to rest.

Juantonja ‘Tonja’ Richmond’s funeral will be held on Saturday. Ronisha ‘Nikki’ Anderson’s service was this past Friday.