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Columbia mayor discusses recent string of gun violence in city


After a string of recent gun violence in the city, the mayor of Columbia says the city hopes to work with the community to address it.

This past weekend was the fourth weekend in a row where gun violence resulted in someone getting hurt or dying.

The violence included two women dying, a recent shootout in a busy intersection and a college student shot downtown on a busy Saturday night has some people fearful, including Mayor Barbara Buffaloe.

"Any news report, any incident that comes out about crime, especially gun violence, definitely strikes fear in my heart as a mom and as a mayor," she said.

Buffaloe said crime is down from this time last year. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Statistics site, violent crime has dropped 30%.

"Most of these incidents that we are hearing about are not random acts," Buffaloe said. "They are: You know a targeted event where someone is -- resulting to gun violence to solve a dispute," Buffaloe said.

Through Friday, the city is accepting proposals from community groups, to apply for the American Rescue Plan Act funding to help the city with violence prevention.

"We're looking for any community group to help find programs and efforts that can happen to help people make better decisions; so part of that is opportunities for youth," she said. "We know that working with community members and building those relationships can do a lot towards preventing violence."

The city also has funds out right now for a behavioral crisis center working with Burrell Behavioral Health. The center would work to address mental health crises across the city.

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.


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