Shootings increased by almost 30 percent in Columbia and Richland County from 2020 to 2021, according to county crime data.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department and Columbia Police Department reported 206 shooting cases in 2021 compared to 161 cases the year before. That’s an increase of nearly 28 percent.
Overall, murder cases from shootings and other violence were up in 2021. The county had 50 murder cases last year, up from 35 the year before. Of the 2021 murder cases, 18 were in Columbia. That’s one less than 2020.
The victims were killed by gunfire in 15 of the 18 city murder cases in 2021. That’s two less than 2020’s 17.
Columbia had a nearly 19 percent increase in shootings. In 2020, at least 78 shootings occurred compared to 93 shootings last year, Columbia Police Department data showed.
With the 2021 murder cases in Columbia, the age range of the shooters were 17-77 years old with the majority being between 22 and 32 years old, the department said. The majority of victims were between 19 and 37 years-old.
Stolen guns factor into shootings and murder cases in Richland County. In December, The State reported that the climbing number of shootings in Columbia and the county went along side an increase in stolen guns.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department announced last week that the 32 murder cases it investigated in 2021 was double the number of cases from the year before. Shootings also rose in the county from 88 in 2020 to 113 in 2021.