Columbia mayor responds to recent homicides - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Columbia mayor responds to recent homicides

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin encouraged residents Saturday to speak up if they know anything about two recent shootings that left two men dead and two others injured.

"I want to encourage anyone who knows anything about these senseless acts of violence and can help identify those involved to please come forward immediately," Benjamin said in a statement Saturday. "With your help, I am confident that Chief Santiago and the Columbia Police Department will find those responsible for these crimes and bring them to justice."

He added "Still, I cannot ignore the fact that last night's incidents are only latest chapters in the all too familiar story here in Columbia and across America. We must do more to combat the scourge of gangs, guns and violent crime."

Benjamin said the people of this city are fed up and so am I and it is simply not enough to voice our frustration and outrage.

"We must act," he said. "We must implement gang injunctions in our city. We must demand that the revolving door for repeat violent offenders be shut. And we must, as a great community, invest heavily in our youth and programs that help them live up to their God given potential."

Benjamin said violence will not intimidate or divide the city.

"So let us take this opportunity to stand together and demonstrate to those who would intimidate and divide us with fear that we are one city and one people," he said. "From Greenview to Gregg Park, the Colony to Cottontown, we are 'One Columbia' and we are stronger than they could possibly imagine."

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