COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–The murder of a 7-year-old boy last week has his community searching for answers.
The murder happened outside the Express Market on East 5th Avenue on the city’s northeast side Friday.
18-year-old Marctarius Grace is charged with murder in that shooting, which killed 7-year-old Deonte Fisher and left Fisher’s 5-year-old brother wounded. He is being held on a $2 million bond.
Tuesday evening at the regular Milo-Grogan Area Commissioner’s meeting, crime and Fisher’s death was discussed. The Reverend Daisy Milner said calling police is important when you see crime, but you also have to watch out for your neighbors.
“We have to stand up and be counted, let these kids know you are not afraid. And you got to stand up for your neighborhood, but not only your neighborhood but the whole area,” Milner stood, pointing at the commissioner, neighbors and Columbus police in the audience.
That audience applauded the owner of the Express Market when he entered, letting him know they don’t blame him for the crime around his business.
Nick Omar said he works with police to try and stem crime, but says his market is the only one in the neighborhood and is a magnet.
“I have been blessed because they respect me and they leave and if they don’t I would definitely go to the officers and let them know those guys are standing in front of my store and they will take care of it,” Omar said.
Area Commissioner Carl Lee has a theory about many of the area shootings.
“Sometimes it is family members with friends in a gang or certain kids in the area that get together when they have and they say they are from there so we are going to go over there and shoot them and then it is like they are shooting us and it grows like that,” said Lee.
Several Columbus police officers attended the community meeting and would not say if the shooting was gang related, but court officials did when Grace was arraigned for murder on Monday.