WILLIAMSPORT — “The next thing I know I heard was ‘Pow, pow, pow!’ and next thing I know I see children running frantically,” said Melita Garcia.
One day after a deadly shooting, Flanigan Park in Williamsport was empty. No one was on the playground, no one was on the basketball courts.
A memorial with teddy bears was set up feet from where a man was shot Monday night.
“Now you have to fear when your children go the playground, and my grandkids often come here so I immediately called my daughter and told her please do not allow my grandchildren to play anymore at this playground because your life is not safe anymore. Bullets don’t have any name on it,” said Garcia who lives right across the street from the park.
Those who live in this community said when 23-year old Kevan Connelly was shot on the courts just after 7 p.m. Monday, the park was packed with young people and children.
“There was a guy running around with a gun and he was chasing some guy and I really feel bad for the families. It should have never gone down the way it did. It was bad,” said Chad Holley of Williamsport.
Police are searching for two men, who they said pulled out guns and fired shot after shot at Connelly.
Those who know the shooting suspects said they got into a fight with Connelly just before the shooting.
“He have three kids without a father now, a young fellow who has a child at 18 and now that’s gone. Think about it,” said Tamika Moore.
Moore knows Raymarr Alford, one of the suspects, and said he has been a victim of violence himself, when three years ago, his mother was shot at an apartment building in the city and killed in front of him.
“It’s coming up on three years his mother been gone three years and he stood right there on his birthday and watched his mother be shot in his face. That’s a child that goes through a whole lot. Who tried to get him any help? Nobody,” said Moore.
Some people Newswatch 16 spoke with said the only way to stop the violence is to teach young people how to resolve their problems.
“If we just got the necessary manpower, the people, adults taking an interest you can curb things before it leads to tragedies, you know? Disputes can be settled, you can you know deter fights,” said Wayne Jones, who is with Our Youth Basketball League in Williamsport.
Flanigan Park has been the scene of violence before. In 2006, a young man was shot in the chest and also killed at the basketball courts.