Columbia, SC (WLTX) -Crime has been the hot topic in Columbia and Tuesday residents were invited to speak to Columbia police at the Eau Claire print building about what can be done to get the bad guys off the streets.
But the meeting came to a standstill as a former gang member came forward and talked about how he lost his way and now wants to give back to the community.
"It just hurts to see somebody else gone," said Shuron Malone, a former gang member.
For 18 year old Malone, hearing about the murders over the weekend in Columbia hit home for him.
"I lost all my homeboys that I was close to. Marcus Gant, he was in the shooting at the Colony Apartment, it's sad like, I don't want to be a part of that anymore."
Malone is a high school dropout and a former gang member. He says after losing some of his friends to gang violence, it's opened his eyes to how his life could end at a young age.
"This is not what you want, jail is not what you want, of course no one wants to die and I don't want to see my family to continue to cry or nothing like that."
Now he is starting a Facebook group called "Stop the Violence Movement in Columbia" in hopes to help others make a change in their lives.
"I gotta change man, I have to give back to the community and help out as much as I can. People thought I was playing but I am serious and I tell them man when ya'll get out I need ya'll to help me because I can't do it by myself."
It's that help that he hopes law enforcement and others in the community can do to change the lives of those committing crimes.
"You got to give us something because we can't just sit outside the Colony and just do nothing, because there are no parks out there, there is nothing that you can do out there, what do you expect people to do. The only thing out there is drugs, guns, it's not going to change if ya'll don't help us."
Malone says despite dropping out of school he wants to continue his education, he will be talking his GED test next week.