Residents in Columbia community rattled by crime

Kids play at the Gable Oaks apartment complex in Columbia Wednesday.

COLUMBIA (WACH) - Columbia Police say a man shot at a Food Lion on Fairfield Road ended up at the Gable Oaks apartment complex Tuesday night. Itâ??s the second time in a week this area off North Main Street has made headlines.

Authorities say a man was killed here Friday, Feb. 10 in an incident that is still under investigation.

Gable Oaks resident Val Holiday told WACH-Fox recently that crime is no stranger to this area.

"We had a young man that was killed the year before last, right here in the park; shot with an AK -47. We had a young lady with five kids who was shot at building 17," said Holiday.

One resident told WACH-Fox off-camera he is afraid someone would retaliate against him if he did an interview.

"When we look at a community that's having issues with people coming from the outside into their community to commit crimes, weâ??re looking at the broken window theory, â?? said Deputy Chief Ruben Santiago. â??What makes this community so appealing to the criminal element?"

Santiago says his department is saturating the area with patrols, and keeping a close eye on who is hanging out at Gable Oaks.

"There's been numerous drug cases that we've made, our PACE unit, has been diligently focusing their attention on people coming in and out of that location."

Santiago says ultimately the residents of Gable Oaks need to band together and take ownership of their community.