Skip to Content

Residents review preventative policing downtown

A string a shootings in one area of downtown Columbia has police trying one new way to prevent violence.

On March 24, police responded to 19 N. Fifth St. for a shots fired call around 1:30 a.m. On April 6, there was another shooting near the Columbia Police Department around 2 a.m.

Early Saturday morning, there was a third shooting in the area of East Broadway and Fifth Street around 1 a.m. One person was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound. Police are still searching for the suspect in that shooting.

As a response to the pattern of shootings in that area the Columbia Police Department has been using a method called preventative policing. The department has been parking vehicles in the parking lot of Plaza Tire Service, and roping off the parking lot so people do not trespass.

Goeff Jones, Police Chief, provided this statement to ABC 17 News.

“The Columbia Police Department is actively investigating this case. They have worked to collect evidence carefully, identify witnesses, develop leads, and continue to follow up on those. As with any shooting we will continue to pursue those who prey on others.”

Brandon Griggs, a Columbia resident, says what the police are doing is at least one step in the right direction.

“I think that’s a good partial movement forwards towards the problem. If people are taking steps towards something then maybe there will be more awareness that’s brought to that there is some kind of issue happening and that’s one step towards it” he said.

He said he is not sure what the cause of the shootings in that area is, but said often times fights between individuals can escalate to something much larger.

“From what I’ve noticed, a lot of arise from small things. Like one person argues with one person and then it escalates into something bigger,” he said. “And then all of a sudden someone’s … they punch someone in the face and then someone else is trying to pull them off their back. And then three other people are jumping in.”

R’velle Fair owns the bar Vibez in downtown Columbia. The bar sits on Fifth Street near where the shootings have taken place.

He said the new steps the police department is taking is not working because officers do not stay in the parking lot of Plaza Tire Service.

He said police are much more focused on the area of Broadway downtown where a majority of the bars are.

Steven Sapp, Director of Community Relation for the City of Columbia, told ABC 17 News it is in the process of reviewing if this method of policing is preventing crime.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

ABC 17 News Team


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content