By Bob Weaver

It was another violent week in Charleston.

A body was discovered slain in Charleston's West Side Monday, with an apparent gunshot wound, an electrical cord wrapped around his waist and money taken from his wallet. He was identified as Jack Hunter,52, of 822 Washington St. West.

A Gino's pizza delivery man man was shot about 8 p.m. Monday on Charleston's East Side, once a respectable, crime-free neighborhood. Allen Townsend, 40, is in critical condition after three men walked up to him and demanded the pizza and his money.

There have been three arrests for the shooting.

At least two people were wounded in separate Charleston shootings Friday evening.

One man was shot on Charleston's West Side, standing on the street.

And just after 10 p.m., police responded to calls of gunshots on Roseberry Circle. One person was shot and another was found beaten.

Attending a convention summer before last, a few feet from the Charleston House Holiday Inn on the Boulevard, a man approached me while I went out after dark for a breath of air, asking for money. He gave some lame excuse about being broken down. His asking became a demand, as I dialed 911 on a cell phone and he fled down an alley.

There were people around, but that made little difference.

Much has changed over the years in the city, where you could wander freely without a fearful thought.

Unfortunately, much of Charleston is no longer safe after dark.

Gunfire, murder, robbery, drug-dealing and hustling continue to worsen near the Capitol. Once beautiful well-kept homes have become property owned by slumlords.

"It's to the point where people are afraid to go out on their front porches at night," East End Association President Matt Brannon said.

Recently, 20-year-old Taran Fitch was killed by a bullet in the back as he stood with his friends on Lewis Street.

There were dozens of shootings last year.

The problem has long existed on the west side of town, but it has now spread.

Charleston's new baseball stadium is being built in the east side neighborhood. The Charleston Gazette said "Dangerous surroundings would cast a pall over sports fun."

Charleston's mayor has pledged to do what it takes to make the city safer.