Columbus father remembers slain son as homicide tally hits all-time high

COLUMBUS (WCMH)  — Columbus’ homicide rate has reached an all-time high.

140 people have been killed in the city so far this year, surpassing 1991’s record of 139 homicides. That means 140 families had their first holiday season without their loved one, including Donell Muhammad.

“He was robbed of all of his identification, so therefore he was taken in as a John Doe,” said Muhammad.

What came next was something no parent ever wants to hear.

“They said, ‘Yes, I’m sorry to tell you sir that your son was murdered,'” said Muhammad.

He said there were 19 bullets on Simpson Drive where his son, 35-year-old Karim Underdown was found dead. There were no witnesses or suspects.

“He was a just a healthy, vibrant young man with his whole life in front of him, but unfortunately he was robbed on that fateful evening,” said Muhammad.

Muhammad is a part of the organization 10,000 Fearless Peacemakers that aims to reduce violence in our neighborhoods. He’s hoping they can help transform lives.

“That’s one less person that will either become a homicide or become a perpetrator of a homicide,” he said.

Underdown was the second homicide case of 2017, but Muhammad said his son is more than just number.

“That’s what you have to constantly allow yourself to do is feel and see. It’s not a number. It’s 140, but these are 140 human beings that will never be with us again,” he said.

Karim’s family is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and/or conviction ( provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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