8 shootings in Columbus over 3 days, 7 suspects at-large

Published: May. 9, 2023 at 4:43 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A busy three days for Columbus Police officers: From May 6th through the 8th, officers responded to eight different shootings in the Fountain City, leaving 10 people with injuries. This all happened as the department’s interim police chief started his work Monday.

Two arrests have been made, both suspects are from the same incident.

You may remember Sunday when traffic was backed up on I-185 South near the exit ramp to Manchester Expressway. That’s because two people got into a road rage rampage, and one person was shot.

As for the seven other shootings, Columbus Police say they need your help to close the cases.

Although no lives were lost, Columbus Police Department Deputy Chief Ronnie Hastings said when a person is shot, it alters their life moving forward.

“Just because we say something is not life-threatening, does not mean it’s not life-altering,” Deputy Chief Hastings said. “We had one victim in this situation whose injuries include both legs shot, and both legs, the bones were broken in his legs.”

As you can see on the map in the video, the first shooting in the spree happened on Pelham Drive just before 2 Saturday morning. A 16-year-old was shot in the stomach.

The most recent act of gun violence took place Monday night around 9 on Warm Springs Road where a man was shot in the shoulder.

“The presence of additional police officers on the streets of Columbus, Georgia would not necessarily have had an effect on these incidents because they were domestic violence incidents that occurred at people’s homes, apartments, a parking lot or driveway,” Hastings explained.

Donald Oxentenko moved to Columbus four years ago for a job. He said he and his family carry guns to ensure they are safe.

“It’s terrible, and it’s horrible, especially if you’re just exposed to it and not involved,” Oxentenko told us. “I guess as far as going out and about, I’d say make wise choices and don’t go to places at bad times.”

“Yeah, I just feel like it’s just too much crime going on,” Columbus native Markell Bankston said. “Me personally, I’m not into anything, so I feel good, personally.”

Hastings encourages the people of Columbus not to wait to call 911 when you feel uncomfortable in a situation.

“They wait until someone gets shot, stabbed or hit hypothetically when they had a lot of reason to call us prior to that act occurring,” Hastings explained. “We just ask people, before things get too bad, call 9-1-1 and get some officers en-route over there.”

Also this weekend, Columbus police are investigating a stabbing and are trying to find the suspect as well as the victim.

Hastings told News Leader 9′s Ashlee Williams that a witness reported a woman being stabbed by a man, then put in a car.

If you have any information on any of these crimes, contact Columbus Police’s Violent Crimes Unit at 706-225-3161. Information can also be submitted anonymously via TipSoft.