16 killed in Columbia this year, 4 unsolved cases, families hope for answers

Published: Aug. 14, 2019 at 7:19 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Sixteen people have been killed this year in Columbia. With four months left in 2019, statistics show that number ties last year’s homicides.

There are also 4 unsolved homicide cases, the most in four years.

Those cases are:

We have spoken with families who want answers as to why their loved ones were killed. That includes the Dantzler family who we interviewed in March.

Wednesday they said the case of their son who was killed on Gervais Street in February, has become a ‘cold case,’ even though police say hundreds of people were there when it happened.

“We think about our son, every day,” Darold Dantzler, father of Darold Dantzler II said. “We could rest easier just knowing that we’ve got some closure.”

Earlier this month, we spoke with the mother of Emmitt Hart who was killed in a July shooting at the Lake Shore Village Apartments.

“I really want somebody to find out who did this, bring this person to justice,” Wanda Penny-Hinton said.

We asked Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook why homicides in Columbia are happening. He did not speak about these specifically but gave some insight at homicides in general.

“You know of some of our homicides this year, I mean we’ve had some murder-suicides, couple of them domestic murder-suicides, those are very unpredictable and very hard to prevent," Holbrook said. “We have seen more conflict with some of our known gang members and associates where just simple stupid arguments whether it’s on social media, or just literally words escalating in gunfire.”

We know of at least one unsolved homicide, on Putnam Street, where the father of the intended target was killed, according to Holbrook.

When asked on Monday, if the majority of shootings were gang-related, this is how Holbrook responded.

“That’s hard to say, I would say quite a few of them are, I don’t know if the majority of them necessarily would be. There’s probably just a few degrees of separation from folks that are involved in it to a gang, or associate, depends on how you would define that, but again, there’s probably some commonality there,” Holbrook said.

Columbia Police say they need people to come forward with information about the Gervais Street shooting and report what happened. You can do so anonymously at 1-888-CRIME SC.

As for the other unsolved homicides for 2019, Columbia Police say they are making progress on those cases.

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