COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) - The shooting of Martha Childress in Five Points has alarmed several members in the community. While many have joined the effort to develop plans to reduce crime in the heavily traveled area, Joe McCollough, the attorney for the Childress family, says now is the time for criminals to surrender.
"We've spent millions of dollars making this a retail and recreation magnet for people in this community," said McCollough. "Now to capitulate to the thugs, the criminals, and the predators that it's really that, a surrender to this beautiful area."
Loitering was one of the many problems the group focused on Monday. Five Points association director, Amy Franks, says it isn't a quick fix.
"They're with ill intentions, purposely looking to bring harm. I think that once that criminal element is eliminated, this neighborhood could be what it was," said Franks.
Martha's family sat down with her to find out what she'd like to see happen in Five Points. They're calling it Martha's list.
"It's more than just Martha, said Ron Johnson, Martha's stepfather.??It's about this town, it's about these students, it's about the safety."
Martha's suggestions range from using resources available to the community such as detection dogs to dress code, and safe passage from the local colleges and universities.