Shootouts this week in Columbus “were gunbattles straight out of the Wild West of 150 years ago,” writes columnist Theodore Decker of the Columbus Dispatch. Curtis Duff II, 22, died first, on a street, and Christopher Kirby, 38, died in the driveway of a home. Guns were found beside both men, who fell in what police described as exchanges of gunfire. It has been a bloody start to 2020 in Columbus, with five homicides in the first seven days. Last year, the city’s fifth homicide occurred Jan. 18.
The calls that flooded 911 paint a vivid picture, Decker says. “I’m laying on my floor in my bedroom now,” one woman reported in the shooting that took Duff’s life. “It just stopped, but I’m on the ground,” Police reported no motive in either killing. Both of the deceased men had prior contact with the criminal justice system. Kirby had just posted bond Dec. 20 while awaiting trial in a felony drug-trafficking case. Duff was released from prison in September after serving four years for an aggravated robbery he committed at age 18.