Two men have been killed since Friday afternoon in separate incidents as gun violence continues to rage across Greater Columbus.
Columbus police were first called Friday afternoon to a residential area on the city’s East Side, where 41-year-old Dalin Green was found shot dead inside a vehicle. On Saturday morning, police were dispatched to a home on the Northeast Side where Floyd W. Bacon, 34, was found dead outside from a gunshot wound.
With Bacon’s and Green’s deaths, 18 people have been killed as of Sunday in Columbus so far in 2022.
As the first two months of 2022 near an end, the rate of killings in Columbus has slightly dipped when compared with the previous year, the city’s deadliest on record and the second consecutive year that a record number of homicides were recorded.
By the end of February in 2021, 33 people had become victims to homicide. Last year initially ended with 204 recorded homicides, but that figure grew by one last Thursday when Columbus police announced that the death of a 17-year-old in October is now being classified as a homicide.
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Green was found dead when Columbus police were dispatched at 2:39 p.m. Friday to the area of Sweet Basil Drive and Tarragon Way on a report of gunshots. When they arrived, police found a fatally-wounded Green inside a vehicle that had crashed, and a Whitehall medic pronounced Green dead at 2:52 p.m.
A 34-year-old woman was also inside the vehicle but was not struck by gunfire, police said.
Homicide detectives said they are working to obtain surveillance video of the area that might provide information on any suspects behind the fatal shooting.
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The following day, Columbus police were dispatched at 11:14 a.m. Saturday on a report of a dead male lying in a back yard of a home on the 1900 block of Oakland Park Avenue, east of Cleveland Avenue. Bacon was found unresponsive with a gunshot wound, and medics arrived to pronounced Bacon dead at 11:20 a.m.
Police have identified no suspects in either homicide.
Within the month of February, shootings raged in neighborhoods around the city and even inside and outside popular commercial businesses.
On Feb. 18, an 18-year-old man was shot and killed at a Roosters restaurant at 2454 East Dublin-Granville Road (Route 161) in the city’s Northland neighborhood. And on Feb. 14, a 24-year-old man was permanently paralyzed from the waist down after police say he was the victim of an apparently random drive-by shooting as he sat inside a front window at Dick’s Den, a bar and live music venue in Columbus’ Old North neighborhood.
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Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther declared gun violence a public health crisis in mid-February and announced the formation of a coalition intended to pressure Ohio and U.S. lawmakers to take action to get illegal guns off city streets. During the Feb. 15 news conference in which Ginther announced those steps, he also indicated that a long-anticipated violence intervention strategy is expected to launch at the beginning of March.
Ginther first announced at a previous fall news conference that the city would implement the National Network for Safe Communities‘ Group Violence Intervention (GVI) program, which requires leaders to engage with the most-dangerous people in the city to convince them to give up their violent ways and connect them with social services.
When asked about the initiative by a Dispatch reporter at the news conference, Ginther said city leaders and community groups involved in the outreach program have met several times and are prepared to host the first so-called “call-in” with at-risk individuals as early as Tuesday.
Anyone with information on any Columbus homicide can call the city police Homicide Unit at 614-645-4730 or report an anonymous tip to the Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477.
Eric Lagatta is a reporter at the Columbus Dispatch covering public safety, breaking news and social justice issues. Reach him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter