DALLAS -- It’s been three days since two teens were shot in a Dallas park. Neighbors are growing more frustrated that dozens of bullets fired haven’t brought more official attention – like from the mayor – to the area.
Dallas Police officers were busy on foot patrol in the neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon. They were talking to neighbors and canvassing the streets, three days after suspects fired shots into a crowd of about 300 people gathered at nearby Wheatley Park.
The impact of the shooting is still fresh on the minds of longtime residents like Gloria Lee. “I just started praying,” she said as she reflected on the chaos from Sunday night.
Lee’s house is one of several near the park that was hit by bullets.
“I heard it,” Lee said, “It hit everything. Ping. Ping. Poom.The fence and everything.”
Some neighbors in South Dallas say they are left with many questions about Sunday night’s gathering at the park, and the city’s response to what police are calling a gang-related shooting.
A 16-year-old girl was hit in the face with a bullet while trying to shield a two-year-old child. A 17-year-old boy was shot in the leg.
“I didn’t holler,” Lee explained, “I fell on the floor.”
Several neighbors on Lee’s street said they expected the mayor and other city leaders to address the violence, by now.
“I’ve never been short on words, but they need to be more concerned. They need to come out here. It’s just not the police that is supposed to be walking around," Lee said.
On Friday Mayor Mike Rawlings issued the following statement:
It is disturbing to me that this ongoing gang feud has continued to escalate to the point that it has now claimed the two teenage victims who were injured last weekend. My heart goes out to the two victims, who I’m told are recovering with non-life threatening injuries. I know Dallas police are aggressively investigating this case and have devoted significant resources and attention to solving it.
I am encouraged to see the community involvement in resolving these gang issues. With summer quickly approaching, it is especially important for communities to band together and make sure the young people are involved in positive activities. My office has several programs coming up this spring and summer to better engage our youth, and I urge parents and community leaders to work with us to support our young Dallasites.
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