COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — ABC 6 News is taking a deeper look into the violence impacting the Columbus community. Over the past two years, homicides have hit record numbers.
204 people lost their lives in 2021 alone. Behind those numbers are families and communities dealing with unthinkable losses.
ABC 6 is speaking with those directly impacted by the violence and those fighting to stop it. We are also talking to community leaders who have boots on the ground working to save lives.
The stories are simply heartbreaking.
“I couldn’t grasp that someone had just murdered my child, like murdered. I looked in the paper and it was like, woman killed at Far East. 96th homicide of the year. That was it, one sentence. I’m like, but she’s this whole person with a name and she’s a child, not a number," said Seneca Ridley-Turner, mother of Makenzi.
Her 17-year-old daughter Makenzi was shot and killed just weeks after her high school graduation last summer.
Makenzi Ridley is just one of the too many young lives taken in an instant. That includes James Johnson, a young father who was killed not far from his mother's home in the Hilltop.
“I couldn’t believe it, like it was unreal. Everybody thinks not mine, that’s not going to happen to me. I don’t understand how someone can take somebody’s life," said Brenda Johnson.
ABC 6 is profiling the faces, families and communities behind the heartache.
ABC 6 is also getting insight into what officers are doing to better connect with the community as they work to solve and prevent these crimes.
"In order for us to curb our crime, in order for the citizens to build trust, we have to get out to where they are, and so that means we got to get out of the cars, we got to knock on doors, we got to see how kids are doing when they are playing in the playground. We've got to get back to being human," said CPD 1st Assistant Chief Potts.
ABC 6 is also talking to those on the ground level. Community leaders like, Terry Green, the founder of 'Think Make Live Youth', are stepping up to make a difference and fighting to save lives.
"When I talk to young people, I can relate because I’ve experienced a lot of things that they’ve experienced. We call it a credible messenger," Green told ABC 6.
The ABC 6 News Town Hall, Columbus in the Crosshairs, is a frank discussion about the deadly violence that has impacted the city and the steps everyday citizens can take to address a problem growing out of control.