Residents anxious over Fremont Park shooting

Fears over last week’s shooting in Fremont Park came to a head Tuesday night as police solicited help from residents in ramping up safety in the neighborhood.

Dozens of residents expressed safety concerns as they gathered for a police community meeting in a parking lot across the street from the park in the 600 block of Hahn where last week’s midday shooting took place.

“I heard the gunshots and I didn’t know what they were, but then I listened again,” resident Roberta Kenney said. “It was pretty scary.”

A bullet hole still marred a home’s steel fence and could be seen from the parking lot.

The shooting occurred about 1:19 p.m. last Thursday in the parking lot on Patterson and Kenilworth avenues, Police Lt. Bruce Fox said.

Two groups of men got into an argument, which led to a fight and then two to six shots being fired, he said.

The men ran from the scene and entered several cars while two men fled on foot in opposite directions, Fox said.

The incident prompted police to lockdown the neighborhood for several hours as officers searched for the gunman. No arrests have made in connection with the shooting.

The lockdown proved to a be sore point with at least one resident at the meeting who took issue with police denying Hoover High students exit and entrance into the neighborhood on the night of their graduation.

Fox acknowledged the move was a mistake and that he had heard similar concerns from other residents.

Before the shooting, loitering was an ongoing issue at the park, Fox added.

He showed residents at the meeting an apple he had found in the parking lot just moments before the meeting — it had a hole that appeared to be used for smoking marijuana.

“Somebody thinks they own this parking lot,” he told residents.

The Police Department planned to step up patrols, conduct undercover surveillance, improve lighting at the park and establish a neighborhood watch and an advisory panel made up of residents, Fox said.

He also asked residents to report any suspicious activity or concerns about quality of life.

Residents suggested installing security cameras, more signs regarding loitering, a greater police presence, speed bumps and better lighting at the park.

Resident Nick Hart said he is a photographer, carries expensive equipment and often works late. He was worried about the lack of lighting at park at night because he doesn’t know if somebody is watching him.

“I hear voices and I don’t see people, so my biggest concern was just the lighting,” he said.

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