Columbia shooting comes just days after sheriff desperately called for end to gun violence

Columbia shooting comes just days after sheriff desperately called for end to gun violence

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Fatal shootings are becoming more common in the Columbia and Richland County area, a community leader is looking to raise money to combat it.

Data from the Columbia Police Department and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department shows that year over year, more people are dying from gun violence, and 2021 is outpacing years past.

To address the issue, Building Better Communities (BBC) organized a press conference with leaders including CPD and RCSD on Thursday, May 13.

On Saturday, May 15, CPD responded to another fatal shooting at the Colony Apartments.

The community is right next to the BBC headquarters, and Executive Director Perry Bradley said neighbors are looking for something to be done.

“We have to have resources for people in the community, tangible resources that they can see, they can feel. Money talks. Everything else is just talking. Everybody comes in, especially around election time, and talk talk talk talk. [The community is] ready to see something. They’re ready for action. You heard some of that today. They’re ready for action,” he said.

Bradley stressed children know what they see. He said too often children are seeing a lack of resources and investment in their communities.

He argued that if they’re given the tools to succeed, they’ll be less likely to be in situations where they may need a gun.

“How do you take the selling of drugs out of the equation that doesn’t have anything. Well, if I can sell this to get my lights turned on, I can sell this to get some food to put in my stomach. If we provide all these things for them, if we provide the resources and education to help them to move forward, you eliminate that. If you eliminate the reason for the gun, you eliminate gun violence,” he said.

Bradley said he is now in the process of fundraising $100,000 to $150,000 for the sake of putting on a convention in July to make more resources available.

Additionally, the BBC is promoting an event on May 22 at the Busby Community Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for young men ages 13 to 21.

Food, mentoring, and life skills education will be available.

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