The violence has to stop

Published 6:42 pm Monday, April 20, 2020

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As if there wasn’t enough going on with COVID-19 sweeping across the nation, there are still crimes happening that are honestly disgusting any time, but much less a time when we all need to be leaning on one another.

From businesses that are already stretched thin being broken into to drugs being sold on the street and a rise in domestic violence, there are no excuses.

While Shelby County remains one of the safest counties in Alabama, and while the crime rate remains lower than usual with people in their homes due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, there have still been too many repulsive acts.

Recently, the city of Montevallo has been on the wrong end of those  acts.

A city that houses the University of Montevallo and is regarded as the 17th best place to live in the Birmingham metro area and the 11th safest city in Alabama in 2019, Montevallo has experienced two shootings in the last three weeks.

The first happened on Saturday, March 28, around 10:30 p.m. as a woman was shot several times near the campus of the university. The victim reported that while walking in the area, a vehicle (unknown make or model) drove past her and then turned around. The vehicle then drove back by and an unknown person exited the car and began to shoot at the victim.

This came shortly after a carjacking occurred near the Student Retreat Center on campus earlier in the night.

Luckily, the victim was OK following the incident.

That, however, wasn’t the case just more than two weeks later on Tuesday, April 14.

Another shooting occurred in the city, this time it was deadly.

It took place on the 800 Block of Shelby Street at the Wolf Creek Apartments complex. The victim, 19-year-old Tyler Olds.

Olds was a former football player at both Montevallo and Calera high schools where he had a special career.

As a sophomore at Montevallo, Olds not only had a first team All-County and All-State season, he was named a finalist for the Back/Lineman of the Year award.

During that season, he posted 153 tackles to lead the county and added 22 tackles for loss and six sacks.

After moving to Calera for his senior season, Olds went on to be named to the All-County and All-State teams once again after posting 96 more tackles.

Now, just one year after his high school career ended, he’s now gone due to senseless violence.

After covering him as a staff for three years, it was sad to see the news of his passing and it’s even more sad that it came due to a violent act at such a young age.

All local law enforcement agencies do a fantastic job of keeping our cities and county safe, but there is only so much they can do. The rest of it is up to those thinking of committing a criminal act.

It’s hard sometimes to understand the thought process of some and how they can commit such devastating acts. It’s so easy to say, but maybe we all need just a little more compassion.

The key to making this world a safer place isn’t always agreeing with someone, just understanding that not everyone has to agree with you.