Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan has released the name of the man found dead Thursday morning in a wooded area off of Winston Road.
Steve Phillips, 30, of Columbus, was pronounced dead of a gunshot wound at 9:35 a.m. His body will be transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Decatur for an autopsy.
Columbus police were called to the scene around 9 a.m. Thursday after someone found the body in a wooded area trail near Winston Road and Benning Drive. Officials are still working to determine when the shooting occurred and the events that led up to it.
“It’s very common here to hear shots to the point where a lot of people don’t even call it in,” said Lt. Greg Touchberry, who confirmed that no arrest warrants have been issued in the case.
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Cynthia Garner and Julia Chiles, who live in the neighborhood, said it’s frightening to have a deadly shooting so close to their homes. They said violence is common in their area.
“I have four kids living here and they can’t even go outside and play, because at any given time there could be bullets flying,” Chiles said. “And they have no one’s name on them.”
The Muscogee County Coroner’s Office marks Phillips’ death as the 37th homicide in Columbus this year, while police list it as the 30th. The coroner’s office does not differentiate between a homicide that police consider a murder and one it categorizes as manslaughter or a justifiable shooting.
Phillip’s death comes nearly two months after 19-year-old Kuamane “Lil Q” Ford was killed in a Nov. 7 shooting at the intersection of Sherwood Avenue and 44th Street.
He was shot a day after authorities sent out a news release announcing that he was wanted for questioning in the Sept. 3 drive-by shooting on Ewart Avenue where 19-year-old Takelia Johnson was killed.
Stay with the Ledger-Enquirer for updates.