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Columbus communities look for solutions as gun violence grows

According to a study from The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, Ohio ranked 23rd in the country for the highest gun death rate in 2019.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus has recorded 66 homicides as of May 6, according to the division of police. That compares to 38 homicides at this time last year.

Those who live in areas where gun violence is common say it’s a complicated problem to solve.

“Half these kids don't have a mother, a father, an uncle, a cousin. That's really going to help them out or get them away from any violence,” said east Columbus resident Calvin Cox.

Cox said his brother and cousins have all been victims of shootings.

“These kids these days. They don't cry, they cry bullets these days, and that's a cry for help,” Cox said.

Taeshia Davenport lives in the Pinetree Village Apartments where police say 15-year-old Trevon Dickson was fatally shot on  April 20 by another 15-year old.

Davenport said gun violence has made it risky to drive in some neighborhoods.

“It makes me scared to go to certain neighborhoods because of the shooting and the stray bullets,” Davenport said.

Shawn Bell, who helps his brother at a Jamaican restaurant in the Hilltop, says gun violence can be tied to several issues including parenting and poverty.

“This is the Hilltop, west side of Columbus. Impoverished neighborhood, people are doing what they can to survive,” Bell said.

Bell says if people have more opportunities to get a job or have someone encouraging them to better themselves maybe things would change.

He also sees violent video games as an issue.

“Our video games teach kids how to shoot and they get out here with the guns and think it's the same thing,” he said.

According to a study from The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, Ohio ranked 23rd in the country for the highest gun death rate in 2019.

The study found during that year 142 children ages 0-19 years old lost their lives to gun violence.

You can read the report here.