COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – New reaction to the latest homicides happening in the Fountain City; having already surpassed the 2016 number, the total is only growing.
Digging deeper, News Leader 9 found most of the victims killed are people of color.
Now, business and religious leaders want to start a movement of action to address the violence.
"He was a really good guy, one of the best workers I had," said Johnny Bolin. "He's been like family."
Bolin said he was distraught, unable to fathom why someone would shoot and kill 29-year-old Luis Calvo Moreno, who Bolin says was one of his best employees.
"[He's] never been involved in anything bad. He was a hard worker," Bolin said. "He was on the phone with his wife, he was going back home in December."
Calvo was not the only man who lost his life late Monday night in Columbus. Datrell Roberson and 28-year-old Xavier Scott were discovered shot and killed near 24th Street, the latest names on a list of 32 homicide victims in 2017 in Columbus.
"We're becoming a little Chicago. That's just unacceptable," he said. "We have police officers that are overworked, and we have a society that doesn't care about human life anymore. Morality is out the door."
Bolin is not alone in feeling the rate of homicides predominantly affects people of color, and that it's getting out of hand.
"We have a crisis, we have an epidemic of black-on-black crime in our community," said pastor Delta Outley.
Sitting down with News Leader 9, Outlet said this crime becomes everybody's problem and explained how the community needs to band together, at a grassroots level, to stop what they see as a growing trend of violent crime.
"I'm talking about churches, schools, coaches, grandparents, pastors we're just talking about everybody that wants to put their hands to some work, so it's not just a one-man show; it's for everybody in our community," she said.
Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson released a statement in response to Monday's homicides. It reads, in part, "We will continue to concentrate on breaking up areas of known criminal activity and will continue to ask for the public's support in helping us get suspects in these murders off the street."
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