Victim's family "left in the dark" during homicide investigation

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COLUMBIA - Anthony Warren’s family is searching for peace and answers after he was fatally shot on New Year’s Day. Warren’s sister-in-law Misty Blumer said the family is still in shock.

“We would have never pictured, we would have never guessed. It still doesn’t feel real.”

Blumer said it is hard to understand why Warren was killed when police will not respond to the family’s questions. She said police have not reached out to anyone in the family with updates in the investigation.

“There’s answers that we may never get. Why? Because the police is not reaching out to the family. Why is that? Why are we being left in the dark when I was told that Anthony was an innocent bystander at the Waffle House?” Blumer said.

According to Blumer, the only way they heard about Warren’s injuries was through the friend who took him to the hospital. The family has hired legal aid to help them obtain answers from police. They have had one meeting with the lead detective on the case, but Blumer said he did not answer any questions for them.

The family has not been allowed to see the body yet. They said they waited at the hospital for hours before they were told Warren had already been moved. Warren’s mother says she feels disrespected and needs to see her son before she can be at peace.

“We are sitting here, heartbroke. Can’t eat. Can’t sleep. Our minds racing of why? What could have been prevented from any of this?” Blumer said. “I mean like I said, this is an innocent man, outgoing, outspoken, loved his kids, would do anything for anybody, has lost his life and we know nothing. Almost like he was the suspect.”

Blumer said during the one hour meeting with the detective, he showed the family a picture of a potential suspect and asked if anyone could identify the person. Blumer said they did not recognize the person, but they hope Columbia Police will release the picture soon in case someone else does. The family says they were told there is surveillance footage of the shooting, but they will not be allowed to see it until the suspect is arrested.

“I was told that an altercation, the altercation that was involved was two individuals and a Waffle House security guard that for some reason is not being spoke of,” Blumer said.

Throughout the confusion and mourning, Warren’s family and friends remember him for his distinctive laugh and his charisma.  

“It was never a dull moment. He was always outgoing,” Blumer said. “He loved life, and his life was taken too soon.”