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Columbia police investigate yet another shooting

Columbia police are still investigating another shooting in the central city early Wednesday morning.

Police were called out to the 400 block of Sanford Avenue.

Investigators found multiple shell casings in the road and two unoccupied cars were hit with gunfire.

ABC 17 Wednesday talked to Michael Jones, who owns property on Sanford Ave.

Jones was dealing with storm cleanup and the news of a shooting in the area.

ABC 17’s Lucas Geisler asked if storms or shootings are worse for business.

Jones remarked, “Shootings are definitely at the top of the list, well so are storms. I’d say it’s a toss up at this point.”

Jones also owns property on Worley Street.

None of his property has been hit in the last week’s worth of shootings, only by branches, but the shootings are still affecting his business.

“My tenants are fearful. There’s a good chance I may be losing my better tenants, which I really hate to have happen, but what can I do about it? I can’t be here 24-7 to stop what’s going on.”

Jones has learned some lessons on leasing in his short time as a landlord.

“Quit letting just anybody in. Do a thorough background check and scrutinize people, because once they’re in your house, it’s so hard to get them out and it takes a long time.”

The shootings continue to happen in a particular neighborhood. Sanford Avenue is just two blocks away from the spot where two women were shot last Sunday.

More skeptical landlords may be a step in the right direction in Jones’ mind, but ending it means effort from everyone.

“I guess in my opinion, it’s going to be as a community or neighborhood banding together. The people who do care, the people who work their tails off for a living, the people who like where they live. I think it’s going to take them to step up to the plate and say, ‘look, we’re not going to take any more of this.”

Crime Stoppers is raising its typical cash reward of $200 to $2000 for any information that leads to an arrest related to any of the recent shootings.

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