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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - A meeting tonight allowed Starkville residents to voice their thoughts on safety issues at McKee Park after a shooting happened there recently while children were present.
Dozens of people met at the park and voiced their concerns. Some residents said they want to see changes including a park curfew and a greater police presence.
"As a parent, it shocked me because my child could have been shot as well as many others here," said Victoria Bash.
Tuesday night’s shooting left residents outraged. At a town hall meeting this evening, they shared what they want to be done to prevent it from happening again.
“I would hope the city would start having people reserve the courts," said former alderman Emmett Smitherman.
Resident Joseph Elinburg said he'd like to see more security.
“There could be several things that could help but a police presence is probably the strongest," said Elinburg.
Alderwoman Sandra Sistrunk said city leaders are in the process of getting park gates and security cameras. She added that leaders are also considering changing park hours and opening courts by reservations only.
Elinburg said there's been a problem at McKee park for a while and hopes whatever changes that are made, will make a difference.
“It doesn't take a genius to see 60 people on a basketball court and realize there's not a 5 on 5 game going on," said Elinburg. "...The language, the kids next door to it, they hear everything that's being said.”
Mayor Lynn Spruill said she is pleased with the number of people who showed up to discuss park safety.
"I'm delighted with the turnout, I am so pleased," said Spruill. "I think we have a mobilized group of parents and interested citizens, and that's what it takes to make your community-responsive and be the best that we can be."
Sistrunk said leaders are working to make changes as quickly as they can. In the meantime, courts are temporarily closed during league play.