COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Some area faith leaders are sharing their thoughts on the recent violence in Columbus.
In a matter of hours early Saturday morning, more than a dozen people were shot at several different scenes. There were two shootings in the Short North, a deadly shooting in south Columbus, and a deadly shooting in Linden.
“It’s very disheartening, what comes to my mind is we have to find a solution for the problem and violence, it’s like an epidemic right now,” said Pastor Rick Jones, executive pastor at the City of Grace Church.
The church has been and continues to be involved in efforts to make Columbus safer. Both Jones and Lead Pastor Michael Young said what happened over the weekend shows more work needs to be done.
“It’s the old adage it takes a village to raise a child, and I think this is an opportunity for the village to rise up,” Young said. “People with different skills, expertise, know-how, to bring their skills to the table so we can collectively make our city a better place.”
Despite what’s happened recently, they said they are not losing hope.
“There are people who are in this work on a daily basis, and it can become frustrating and maybe even sometimes discouraging, but I believe all the seeds that are being sown, it’s going to reap a harvest that’s going to be peace,” Young said.
Police released on Monday that 10 people had been shot between the two shootings in the Short North. It’s a neighborhood Kendra McSweeney has called home for more than 20 years.
“We have two kids, two teenagers who like to walk around the neighborhood and we make sure they’re aware of when to be on the street and when not to be on the street,” she said.
She knows slowing violence won’t happen overnight but said she’d like to see the city take a different approach.
“There are short-term solutions and then there are longer-term solutions. I think one of the most important things to do is for the city of Columbus to be more responsive to the needs of the residents, and by that I mean everyone,” McSweeney said.