USC warns students about Five Points area - FOX Carolina 21

USC warns students about Five Points area

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The University of South Carolina is located in Columbia. (File/FOX Carolina) The University of South Carolina is located in Columbia. (File/FOX Carolina)
COLUMBIA, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -

The University of South Carolina is warning students that an entertainment district near campus is not safe after midnight.

The warning Tuesday comes after a female student was shot and wounded last weekend.

The school did not tell its 31,000 students to stay away from the bars, restaurants and shops in the Five Points neighborhood in Columbia.

USC president Harris Pastides talked with city officials Tuesday about how to the make the area safer.

Pastides says USC students play a vital economic role for the Five Points area. But he said Tuesday the area is not safe for people after midnight.

He said in a statement posted on the school's website that the city should take several actions to increase safety in the area including increased police presence, making establishments close at 2 a.m., making the area a pedestrian district on Friday and Saturday nights, and installing new lighting, call boxes and other security measures following recent crimes and the shooting of Martha Childress.

"This senseless crime that now impacts the life of our student, her family, her many friends and our entire community must serve as a turning point," Pastides said in his post. "We cannot let this happen again. This student has been described as 'determined, a very hard worker and a fighter.' In tribute to her tenacity, let us also be determined. Let us work hard to ensure that Five Points and our entire city is safe and ours to enjoy."

Columbia police set up a substation in the district in May. Authorities also added patrols and surveillance cameras, and made a teen curfew permanent in 2011.

Childress is still recovering in a Columbia hospital after she was hit by a stray bullet, paralyzing her from the hips down and piercing several of her vital organs, according to family members.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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