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Local Columbia coffee shop owner addresses crime after recent shooting near shop


The owner of the local coffee shop and lounge Imperial Aaron Favors said a recent shooting near his business early Sunday morning created a surreal moment for he and his staff.

The Columbia Police Department confirmed late Sunday that two men were shot in the 1700 block of Paris Road Sunday morning at 1:40. The men were taken to a local hospital with non life-threatening injuries, according to police.

Favors said his business was open as normal, when customers inside said they heard gunshots.

Favors said they started to hear commotion coming from outside near the business, which prompted them to call the police. Shortly after, Favors said he walked outside when he saw police sirens and was told by his staff that a man across the street had been shot and needed help.

Favors said one of his employees, Cassie began giving aid to the man after he was brought inside the shop.

"Security grabbed me and told me that he had been of our security took off his shirt, wrapped up his shirt and you know we just started pushing," Cassie said. "You know, just keeping him you know talking to him... asking him like little yes or no questions."

Monday night, community members, activists, and business owners gathered at the shop to address the shooting, and ways to prevent similar situations moving forward.

Some possible solutions discussed included creating an app that alerts the public of an active, or potential shooter in the area and training business owners for how to deal with an active shooter. Partnering with law enforcement, as well as enhancing security protocols were also discussed.

Favors said he's been in contact with the man who was shot who thanked him and his staff for their help, and said he expects to recover. Favors also thanked his staff, as well as customers who were inside the shop that morning for their help.

Although he's grateful he could help the man, he said it was a shocking night and finds the recent crime in the city alarming.

"It was surprising, we got no violence record," Favors said. "You know, we've been open almost two years with no violence, so it was shocking, you know, almost to the point of disbelief for my staff."  

 In April, Dontay Williams, 18 was charged with six felonies for allegedly shooting from a vehicle on Paris Road. I

It wasn't clear if anyone had been arrested for Sunday's shooting.

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Nia Hinson


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