How safe do YOU feel in Columbia's Vista?

How safe do YOU feel in Columbia's Vista?

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - For many visiting Columbia's premier art district on Tuesday – the shootout that left eight people injured near the Empire Supper Club on Lady Street
early Saturday morning will have little bearing on their decision to revisit the area.

WIS spoke to numerous people visiting Columbia's premier art district on Tuesday. Many recognize that while it was a rare event – you can never be too cautious.

"It's hard to say when you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time right now," said Robert, who asked to have his last name withheld. "It wouldn't deter me from going down there. Really, what the area has to offer is what's going to attract me."

Another frequent Vista customer we met was Chris Lakin. He's from Charleston but frequents the Vista to meet with clients. He said this most recent incident doesn't change anything for him and applauds the response and patrolling efforts from the Columbia Police Department.

"It doesn't make me feel any different," Lakin said. "The city does a great job policing it."

WIS did interview one woman who had a drastically different viewpoint. Erin Goering, a Batesburg resident, was in Columbia's Five Points in 2013 when she heard shots fired right before the last call at a local bar.

"We heard the gunshots and then we stayed in there for another hour until we figured out what was going on - and it was when the young girl was shot," Goering said.

Goering is referencing USC student, Martha Childress – who was 18 at the time – when she was hit by a stray bullet not intended for her and paralyzed. Goering said being there and watching the aftermath for that young woman changed her perspective.

"The Vista is a nicer end of Columbia so I felt safer going out there, but with recent events, you never know what's going to happen," she said.

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