One week after McKee homicide, neighbors still concerned about crime

Neighbors in the Columbia neighborhood where 17 year-old Tre Marshall was killed on July 14 are on alert, after one family woke up to three broken windows in less than a week.

Mike Douglas and his family live right across the street from the McKee Street Park. Even after his neighborhood came together in a rally to stop the violence, he is still fearful because vandals have hit his home three times in the past week. "This one was a rock, and I called the police on that," Douglas explained.

"Then, I found my car window broken... then Saturday morning they took the McKee Street Park sign which tells you what time the park opens and broke out my back window."

Douglas says the mornign after the vigil, his front window was smashed. Then, his car window was broken. On Saturday, someone ripped off the bottom half of the McKee Street Park sign and used it to smash out the back window of his home.

All windows were smashed under the cover of darkness, making it hard for Douglas to catch whoever vandalized his home. "I hope they can pull some fingerprints off the sign," Douglas said.

While it may be true that some people in the McKee Street neighborhood have been encountering these problems, there are some who think that the neighborhood has the solutions, too.

At a news conference addressing crime in Columbia in June, Ward 2 Councilman Michael Trapp said the answer is for neighbors too look out for one another. "If we really want to be safer, we need to keep our eyes out for each other. We need to spend more time on our front porches instead of our back porches," Trapp said.

"For people who are afraid of crime, I encourage you to talk to your neighbors."

Several residents in the McKee street neighborhood agree with the councilman's approach. "If everybody would get together and say, hey I'm so-and-so... we could help each other watch each other's property," said McKee Street resident Robert Schneider.

Neighbors doing just that may have prevented vandals from doing a thousand dollars of damage to Douglas' home.