Community Leaders Seek Action After Weekend Shooting

Monday, March 19th 2007, 3:51 pm
By: News On 6

The Tulsa community responds to a shooting that injured 11 teenagers over the weekend. Preachers, politicians and police showed a united front Monday at the very park where the shooting happened. They urged young people to stop the violence. Folks from different churches, people who live in the neighborhood, city employees, EMSA, Tulsa Public schools, social services, they were all there. News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports they all want the same thing, for children to be protected.

Investigators are looking for two people who fired shots out of moving vehicle into a crowd of kids at Crawford Park Saturday evening. Why someone would drive by and shoot into a crowd at random, is hard to fathom. Because someone did just that, people showed up to the park Monday with a show of force. They love their community and want their children to be safe.

"They need to have safe places to gather and we intend on making certain we secure those places where young people can meet and have fun and enjoy themselves without fear of this type of violence," said Dr. Warren Blakney of North Peoria Church of Christ.

The goal was to show people from different walks of life can be united in one cause. There was a message here for teenagers and parents alike; you're not alone. They say trust must replace fear in the community's relationship with police. Police say they are willing and need help curbing crime.

"It's a long-term solution. I think by building close ties to the community and clergy and building trust, we're taking positive steps forward," said Tulsa Police Department Deputy Chief Mark McCrory.

Some even felt barriers between the churches themselves need to fall in order to show young people that people with different faiths and philosophies can work together.

"Children are a reflection of us. Where we shoot spiritual bullets at each other, children shoot real bullets," said Albert Mohammed of Nation of Islam.

Putting these words into action will be critical if children are to grow up remembering parks as places of joy, rather than fear. Shootings and gang violence are no longer just city problems. They're moving into smaller, rural towns as well. That's why the House and Senate passed a bill last week for a statewide gang initiative that would help stop and prevent this type of crime.

Related Stories:

3/17/2007 Gunmen Loose After Drive-By Shooting

3/18/2007 Park Attack Prompts Meeting