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'This really isn’t surprising': Safety expert weighs in on violence at Polaris Fashion Place

A safety expert says when there’s an uptick in violence in our communities, it transitions to businesses in the community.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus police are continuing to search for the people who fired shots Monday at Polaris Fashion Place.

Columbus police say two groups started fighting, and at least one person started shooting inside the popular mall. No one was injured.

One safety expert says the violence at the mall isn't completely surprising.

“It didn't surprise me. It just makes sense that that would happen as we're having a lot of shootings, a lot of deaths want murders, a lot of aggravated assault in the area so no place is really immune from that kind of behavior,” said Gary Sigrist, Jr., who owns the safety company Safeguard Risk Solutions.

That violence particularly coming from young people. Columbus police say the incident in the mall only involved shots being fired, but when you consider homicides in the city of Columbus, on March 9, there were close to double the number of homicides this year in comparison to the same time last year. 

Then if you look at the suspect ages for homicides this year, a third of the suspects are under the age of 21.

Credit: Suspects Ages for Homicides Under 21, WBNS
Credit: Year to Year Homicides in Columbus


"Yet again" were the words used by Columbus Police Sgt. James Fuqua.

“I know a lot of people are frustrated this happened yet again,” said Sgt. Fuqua. "There are young people yet again in our city who are committing acts of violence that are putting the life of innocent people in danger.”

“It certainly seems to be a correlation between how things are being managed in Columbus and with the growth of crime,” said Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin.

“Whatever we see happening, pick a neighborhood, those same people are going to go to them. All the same people are gonna go to the movies, they are going to go to the grocery stores, we're gonna see some of the same behaviors,” Sigrist said.

We know the names and ages of the two suspects from the first shooting at Polaris Fashion Place: 25-year-old Levon Sommerville and 21-year-old Anthony Truss Jr.

Columbus Police have yet to identify suspects from this week's shooting at the mall, but officials do know they are young.

 

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