Columbia Police investigating two homicides in East Columbia
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police are investigating two homicides after a shots fired call at the 2100 block of McKee Street early Sunday morning.
Columbia Police said emergency personnel transported two people with gunshot wounds to the hospital, where they were both pronounced dead.
Police identified the two people killed as Antonio Lasha Houston, 36 and Danielle Beverly-Mae Marine, 33. Both victims lived in Columbia.
Danny Willow, who calls Houston more of a brother than a friend, said Houston worked hard to make a living for himself and his children.
"He was a man trying to raise his family," said he said. Like I said he wasn't out here in these streets. He wasn't out here banging and slinging like that. It sucks when it happens to anybody but it's really bad when it happens to good people.
Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones offered his condolences to both the victims' families and stressed the community should come together to address the recent spike in gun violence.
"Our thoughts are with the families of Antonio and Danielle," Chief Jones said. "The men and women of the Columbia Police Department will continue to do our part by pursuing those who prey on others. Our community must work together to address this violence. I ask our community members to have the courage to speak up and help. We can’t do it alone."
These are Columbia's eighth and ninth homicides this year, according to the Columbia Police Department.