COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Saturday's brawl on Harden Street and the gunfire that followed created more scary images on surveillance cameras. They also did nothing to convince Ron Johnson and his family that the City of Columbia has moved forward on critical public safety issues in Five Points.
Johnson is stepfather to Martha Childress, the University of South Carolina student shot and paralyzed last October when another fight broke out in almost the same location.
We asked Johnson how Martha reacted to Saturday's incident.
"She was relieved to find out that there were no severe injuries like what she suffered, but at the same time, it is distressing to see that the beat goes on," said Johnson. "The same issues continue to be there and all we have are a bunch of well-meaning representatives who do nothing but wring their hands instead of provide solid enforcement action."
Columbia Police insist they've done better in addressing crime in Five Points. But Johnson believes if the city fails to take stronger prevention measures, more shootings and assaults will hurt not just people but the Midlands economy as well.
Crime, especially crime in the core of the Capital City, could become a factor that holds back business development.
Columbia Development Corporation head Fred Delk says that may not be a problem yet. He says questions about public safety could make it harder to attract higher-pay workers and members of what he calls the "creative class."
"These are people who really like the cultural aspects of cities, so the conditions of life in the city, the cultural aspects, the qualify of life in the community is most important for those people. So we have to get a handle on those kinds of issues," said Delk.
Columbia police announced late Wednesday afternoon, an additional count of attempted murder was added for the shooting suspect Jacob Green.
He is currently being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on three counts of attempted murder, among other charges.