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Columbus city leaders discuss safety following increased gun violence in Short North

The press briefing comes after the Short North Arts District has seen increased crime and gun violence in recent weeks.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — There have been several shootings in the Short North Arts District this summer and recently a homicide. Columbus leaders say they will do what they can to make sure the city is safe.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther was joined by other city leaders on Thursday to explain what safety measures are in place and what additional plans they are working on.

The press briefing comes after the Short North has seen increased crime and gun violence in recent weeks.

On Wednesday, 51-year-old Nicholas Evens died in an alleyway behind the United Dairy Farmers convenience store on North High Street after he was shot during an altercation. Police later arrested 47-year-old Jeremy Vest and charged him with murder.

Last month, five people were shot in two separate shootings over the course of 10 days. On June 19, three people, including a 17-year-old, were shot when two groups of males were arguing and several of them fired handguns at each other. A week later, two people were shot near the Union Café.

Additionally, police said 30 rounds were fired on North High Street near East Hubbard Avenue.

“We are advancing two ordinances to city council designed to address noise concerns and the dangerous late-night activity that has recently occurred near mobile food venders,” Ginther said.

Through funding from the city, and partnerships, the Short North Alliance has created a safety interdiction team of officers who patrol the area during busy times. Since March they say they have taken 14 guns off the streets.

“It’s important for these efforts to continue. Just because there have been some successes in efforts does not mean that should stop,” said Betsy Pandora, the Executive Director of the Short North Alliance.

Ginther says the city needs more officers to patrol the areas.

“Yes, that’s why we invested in 170 of them this year. We will invest in those types of classes in the next several years. We know we need more officers,” he said.

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