While the year 2021 has given us hope that we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of COVID-19, for the city of Columbus, Ohio, they battle a new problem in the form of gun-crime. Within the month of May, the city bore witness to seventeen homicides, six of which happened consecutively within the same week.
One of the most shocking happened on the night of May 23rd, as shots rang out during a party at Bicentennial Park, sending shockwaves throughout the city. The victims of the assault were all teenagers ranging from ages 14 to 19, several having to be rushed to the hospital bearing gunshot wounds.
A sixteen-year-old girl, Olivia Kurtz, was tragically shot and killed during the ordeal. However, the city didn’t even have much of a chance to mourn the young girl before another sixteen-year-old, Ty’Sean Finch was shot and killed only a few days later. Sgt. James Fuqua of the Columbus Police Department was understandably shaken by the events.
Just the simple fact that we've lost two 16-year-olds in the last week tells you that the violence is real.
In order to combat this growing string of homicides, Columbus police will be prioritizing 911 calls so they can have more officers available should another homicide happen. The force has already had to adjust to many of their officers retiring or resigning, and the rising homicide rate has only put more pressure on their remaining officers.
For that reason, felonies like property crime may be pushed aside to ensure the public at large is safe. With the police force having to rely on triage to delegate their officers, many citizens will be forced to assess the situation and search for evidence on their own.
While this could lead to problems in the future involving break-ins and home invasions, there’s not much the police can do at the moment. Hopefully, this will only be a temporary situation, as Columbus police attempt to cut down on the homicide rate.