COLUMBUS Ga. (WRBL) – Carver Park in South Columbus has been the site of two deadly shootings so far this year. City officials hope an upcoming event will welcome community members and change the park’s reputation for the better.
In February, 16-year-old Corey Jones was shot at Carver Park. And in August, 44-year-old Andrea Ellis lost her life in a shooting that injured two others. Columbus City Councilor Toyia Tucker represents District 4, which includes the park.
She says the city has made park safety a priority by limiting park hours and adding gates to the entrances. Now she hopes families will feel encouraged to show up for a Halloween Trunk-or-Treat.
“Were coming with love,” says Tucker “Were coming with our fire department. Were coming with our police department our, sheriff department, with the neighborhood watch groups. Myself some of the other council members have donated candy. Different organizations. This is a community event. And what we would like to do is come together.”
Derrell Dowdell is the attorney for Andrea Ellis’ family. He says a one-time show of force won’t create lasting change at the park. Dowdell says the city should install security cameras in the park and begin regular police patrols.
“What we gotta ask ourselves is what next,” Says Dowdell. “What are we going to do when the lawyers, the politicians, the city officials, and law enforcement are no longer at the park? What’s next? Opening up as business as usual. It’s not right I’m here to say that it is wrong. My experts say it’s wrong and more important than my experts, the citizens of carver park say it’s wrong.”
The Trunk-or-Treat will be held Friday, October 29th between 5-7 p.m. The event will be free for anyone who wants to attend. Councilor Tucker says she hopes it’s the first of many uplifting events for community members in south Columbus.