What can be done to curb violence in Columbia? - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

What can be done to curb violence in Columbia?

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Monday night's gang shooting that wounded a 4-year-old girl along with a deadly shooting at a bakery last week have many in the Columbia community outraged.

The faces of these innocent victims have many wondering what more can be done to stop the violence. 

Neighbors, witnesses, many we spoke with at Colony Apartments fear for their safety. Some say it's not safe enough to raise a family in the complex.

But it's not just the Colony. Different areas of Columbia have been hit recently with violent crimes.

One woman we spoke with agrees with law enforcement. In order to make the city safer, the community has to work with police to put an end to the violence.

Emon Kelly has lived in the Colony Apartments for six years. She wants to move.

"Everybody deserves a chance at a good life; a better life," said Kelly.

The community is still outraged about another shooting a week ago about a mile and a half a way. Back on July 1, two known gang members are accused of breaking into a bakery where 33-year-old Kelly Hunnewell was working.

Columbia Police say the teens planned to rob the business next door but they targeted the bakery when they realized the other business was closed.

Inside, they found no money, just Hunnewell who was gunned down.

Less than two weeks ago, Columbia officers arrested three teenagers including one juvenile for a gang-related shooting on King Street. Police says they are all documented gang members.

Three shootings in less than one month's time -- two of them gang-related --- just miles apart. Now police are investigating if 4-year-old Zahara Walker was caught in gang crossfire.

"We can't really say right now if it's gang-related," said Columbia Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago. "It could be gang-related, it could be drug-related. When you look at these types of scenarios, you have several individuals in this case without a care in the world except causing violence."

Regardless of the motive, neighbors and parents are fed up.

"No one should have to be afraid of where they live," said one neighbor.

"We need those community members who are willing to stand up and say, 'Not in my neighborhood,'" said Santiago.

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