COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Wednesday’s fatal shooting outside a convenience store on North High Street is the fifth shooting in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus since June 11.
People in the area Wednesday said this may just be the tipping point, making them want to pack up and move out of the neighborhood.
“It’s concerning,” said resident Jackie King. “This is part of why we want to move to a different neighborhood.”
King and Ben Owen live near the Short North. The couple just found out they are pregnant with a baby boy. Given the increase in violence in the last month, the couple is reconsidering where they want to raise their first child.
“We feel better in Clintonville for that reason,” King said.
“Yeah, getting our kid away from access to guns and shootings is definitely a pretty big priority for us,” Owen said.
The Short North is filled with restaurants and hangout spots, but people said the violence is overshadowing the good parts.
For Wesley Poulson, the Short North is a place to have fun with friends and is where he works.
“I normally do get off at the night shift,” Poulson said.
Poulson said hearing about Wednesday morning’s shooting outside the United Dairy Famers store is scary, but not totally shocking, saying shootings happen fairly regularly when he is on the clock, adding he never feels safe alone after dark.
“About a month ago, I was down here on a Saturday night when one happened and it definitely just kind of steers you clear of wanting to be out here at nighttime,” Poulson said.
Jonathan Otto also lives in the area with his wife and young son. He said enough is enough and the city needs to find a solution to this problem, especially for the children.
“No, I don’t want to send him to school thinking about the potential for violence, I don’t want to go to a concert with the potential for violence, I don’t want to go to the grocery store,” Otto said. “I don’t want that for him and I don’t want that for any other kids.”
The Short North Alliance issued the following statement about the violence:
“We are deeply troubled by the senseless act of violence that occurred last night and join the community in mourning this tragic loss of life. In the coming days, we will provide additional details about our safety-focused initiatives. In the meantime, our website has a list of programs underway that we remain committed to: www.Shortnorth.Org/communitywellbeing/.”