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Aspen Heights student residents say they are scared after shooting

Columbia police have arrested a man in connection with a South Columbia shooting that sent a woman to the hospital yesterday afternoon.

Jaylen James, 20, of Columbia, faces charges of assault, unlawful use and possession of a weapon, and tampering with evidence.

Police said they arrived to the 3800 block of Aspen Heights Parkway at about 2:40 p.m. yesterday for reports of shots fired, where they found one woman with a non-life threatening gunshot injury.

One student resident in the area said the incident hit too close to home.

“It’s scary that it happened right out our front door,” the student resident said.

The Aspen Heights apartment complex markets itself as student housing.

The student resident said he has not seen this type of violence in two years of living here.

“I don’t think it’s a common thing. Just the fact that you could walk outside and it’s right there is kind of really scary,” the student resident said.

According to dispatch records, this year there’s been three confirmed shots fired incidents in the last 8 months at the complex – with police responding to a multitude of different calls more than 160 times, including assaults and suspicious incidents.

“You can tell there’s a lot of people coming in and going out and kind of sketchy like that,” the student resident said.

But the student said there’s been a management change recently.

“With our new management taking over, there’s going to be more security and things like that,” the student resident said.

He said that’s what has been promised, but today, their security gates were wide open.

Aspen Heights has yet to comment on how they plan to heighten security.

“I wouldn’t say I’m scared to be living here. It’s kind of sketchy being in the neighborhood like that,” the student resident said.

The Columbia Police Department said they can neither deny nor confirm it was an accidental shooting. They said it is still an open investigation.

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