Citizens to demand more 'community policing' following shooting - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Shooting near high school football game sparks demand for more 'community policing'

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Students, fans and parents run for cover after shots were fired near Bolden Stadium Friday night. Students, fans and parents run for cover after shots were fired near Bolden Stadium Friday night.
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Labor Day was quiet for Kevin Gray, but last Friday night proved to anything but quiet.

Gray and a friend witnessed a shooting near C.F. Bolden Stadium that night which put a game between C.A. Johnson and Eau Claire on hold.

"We were actually coming from the El Cheapo on top of the hill, coming down St. Louis, crossing Barhamville Road right after the football game had let out," Gray said.  "I was with a friend. All of sudden, we saw three young men shooting at another young man, in Representative Leon Howard's front yard, shooting toward the Benedict professor's house."

The Columbia Police Department says the shooting occurred after an altercation inside the stadium that got several juveniles kicked out of the game. While they did not find anything at first, officers later found that a car had been shot up. The five people inside the car, however, were uninjured.

"If me and my friend had went through that stop sign," Gray said, "it would have been us. It could have been anybody. It could have been anybody."

As the search by CPD for the suspects continues, Gray hopes that change will come to Barhamville Estates. He's even gone to speak to the neighborhood president, who is already planning a meeting. That meeting will include demands for CPD from Barhamville Estates residents including Gray. Among those demands is more community policing

"Community policing is getting out and walking a beat," Gray explained. "Community policing is knowing the people in the neighborhood. It's about getting out and putting some shoe leather on some asphalt or some concrete."

No matter what the solution may be, Gray just wants the shootings to end.

"Somebody better get those kids under control, because in this neighborhood, I'm a veteran," Gray said. "My neighbor across the street's a veteran, the neighbor over here's a veteran, the neighbor across the street's a veteran, one's a retired cop. Folk got guns, too, and they'll end up shooting somebody's child, and then their parents will be on TV talking about how good their kid was. Well, this isn't the kind of terror and behavior that we're going to accept in this community."

If anyone has any information about the incident, tipsters are asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC (1-888-274-6372).

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