There is evidence of growing gang violence in Columbus County. The sheriff’s department has a line on several suspects in a fatal shooting over the weekend. It happened in the parking lot of an un-licensed club just south of the Boardman community.
Shots were fired early Saturday morning; one person was killed and five others were wounded. Now, neighbors are concerned for their safety.
Peggy Bass had a hard time sleeping Saturday morning, after shots were fired just feet from her house. “I heard gunshots, lots of them, and they really scared me,” she said.
Bass has been living along a stretch of the Boardman community for at least twenty years. Hearing gunshots outside her house has become a common occurrence. “I’ve been here a long time,” she said. “I’m 68 years old, my husband is almost ninety years old – so you see our concern.”
Neighbors say large groups usually congregate at Ball’s Club late night on the weekends. They say the groups are usually violent, and it makes them afraid to leave their house at night.
“When they close up at night, they have a habit of shooting up in the air, and it goes across,” Bass said.
The man who allegedly runs the un-licensed club lives in a house situated between the club and Bass’s home.
“I don’t go over there, and they don’t come over here,” she said.
The sheriff’s department suspects the incident traces back to some sort of gang activity. Although they say organized crime has not been a concern recently in the area, just two weeks ago, Bladen and Columbus County received a grant as part of their Project Safe Neighborhood initiative, to target gang violence.
The gang initiative will attempt to break up any groups that exist in Bladen and Columbus counties, but specifically in this case, no arrests have been made.
Anyone with information is asked to call Columbus County Sheriff’s Department at 642-6551.