COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - During the day, Five Points seems pretty harmless. But some nights, the area can bring life-altering violence.
That’s why residents are calling for an end to gun violence in the city.
“When I look back,” Howard Boone, Jr. said from his recovery bed, “I’m always thinking like, why me?”
Back in March, Boone was in Five Points visiting his fraternity brothers at USC when he was shot by a stray bullet and paralyzed from the neck down.
“They said that I died on the scene,” Boone said. “When I got to the hospital, I coded again. It’s just like, I’m here for a reason.”
It’s safe to say Boone’s purpose became undeniably clear Thursday night when he and his Omega Psi Phi Fraternity brothers put together a “Please, Don’t Shoot” vigil as they push to stop gun violence in Columbia.
“Innocent people are involved with gun violence,” Boone said. “Some lives are cut short. Some people’s lives change. They have to survive that incident or accident that happened, and it’s just…it’s devastating.”
While he’s still re-building his strength on the road to recovery, Boone says he’s hoping to do the notorious Atomic Dog hop with his Omega Psi Phi brothers again soon.
“Man, every time I hear that song, I just close my eyes and just picture me hopping in the back of my head. That definitely puts a smile on my face because that hope and that faith for me being able to walk again, that’s what drives me,” Boone said.