On Saturday night, the killing of Samantha Josephson was top of mind for people out for the night in Five Points.
“It’s very scary. It makes you feel uneasy,” said Georgia Pinner, who said the incident made her want to stick together with a group of friends visiting from Jacksonville, and makes it less likely she will use a ride share to get home.
“A friend offered us a ride later, because they don’t want us to take one,” Pinner said. Josephson, 21, disappeared from Five Points early Friday morning. Police believe she got into what she thought was her Uber ride but was actually another vehicle.
Her body was found in Clarendon County on Friday afternoon, and a 24-year-old man has been charged in her death.
In Five Points on Saturday night, Destiny Stump said the killing hit home with her because she’s the same age as Josephson.
“I’m 21, and I couldn’t imagine,” she said. “It would be terrifying.”
Kailen Gordon said he tends to avoid using ride shares because of incidents like Josephson’s.
“If it was a taxi I’d feel all right, but in an Uber it could be anybody,” Gordon said. “They could be a rapist. They could be a killer.”
Lauren Bourgeois, a gymnastics coach, was out chaperoning a group of young gymnasts visiting from Tulane University.
“I wouldn’t want them to be out here alone,” Bourgeois said.
Charlotte Nazanian, a USC freshman, said Josephson’s death has made her more aware of her surroundings.
“I’ve changed where I run,” she said, and she downloaded an app on her phone to track her location “so my roommate knows where I am.”
Mary Kent Hearon said she’s always security-conscious, especially after she was robbed in a Five Points parking lot in 2008.
“I had a huge fight with an Uber driver recently because I asked him ‘What is your name?’ and he got so belligerent,” Hearon said. “I never get in a car if I don’t know the driver’s name.”
“My heart goes out to that family,” Julia Ferillo said. “A woman should be allowed to go out and get a drink at 2 o’clock in the morning.”