Over in Starkville, they”ve got the knives out. The city was rocked by two stabbings on Tuesday.
The one that caught everyone”s attention was the 6 a.m. attempted robbery at Shipley Donuts, which is nestled in a popular, busy strip mall along Highway 12.
The second stabbing on Tuesday was one that we can wrap our heads around: A man was stabbed during a fight at an apartment complex. OK, we get that. But we, along with the rest of the Golden Triangle, were shocked by the brazenness, and randomness, of the incident at Shipley. Any of us could have been in the doughnut shop during this crime, which ended with one woman”s throat cut and a second worker stabbed. (Both are expected to recover.) Workers fought off the attacker during a melee throughout the store.
The alleged suspect, George Johnson of Weir, left with no money — he couldn”t figure out how to get the cash register open.
At least in Columbus, we know not to bring a knife to a gunfight. Making headlines over here in recent days has been the arrest of five men — four of them imported from Alabama — who are charged with capital murder in the death of a Columbus man who was shot in the head while sleeping on a Lowndes County couch.
Three men originally arrested, and later cleared, of the killing included one recent Columbus High School graduate. Lowndes County investigators said that all had gang ties. Again, crime hit close to home.
A random, fatal double-shooting at a downtown Columbus bar earlier this year already had many of us on edge.
Amid this news, we aren”t too surprised at the results of a poll on our website that asked the simple question: In the wake of recent events, do you feel safe? Just under three out of four — 74 percent — said no. Only 21 percent said they felt safe, while 5 percent had no opinion.
We”ve made the point in the past that when we look at the big picture, we”re safe. Homicides and violent crimes are rare. Yet sadly, and tragically, they do happen. And, they shape our opinions.
While statistics show crime is low overall, the task facing local law enforcement is bringing that message to the public. And that simple message — we”re safe — becomes a harder sell, each time one of these incidents is allowed to happen.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.