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1 dead, 1 injured after shooting at Jefferson Park

Posted at 12:13 PM, Apr 17, 2022

CLEVELAND — One man has died and another is injured after a shooting in Jefferson Park Saturday evening, according to Cleveland Police. This is the second deadly shooting in the West Side’s park in less than one year.

When police arrived to the park at around 5:30 p.m., they found a 24-year-old man, identified as Torrey Bowling, with a gunshot wound to the head. He was transported to Metro Hospital, where he later died. The 25-year-old victim suffered a gunshot wound to the hip. He was transported to Metro Hospital in unknown condition, authorities added.

CPD'S preliminary investigation revealed the two men went to the park to play basketball when a stolen white vehicle showed up and fired shots in their direction.

The vehicle involved was also used in an aggravated robbery on Friday at West 63rd Street and Storer Avenue, they said.

They found the vehicle in the area of Baldwin Road and initiated a traffic stop. They chased the car, which eventually crashed in the 2400 block of Baldwin Road. Four men ran away from the vehicle, police said.

All four men were caught and police said three of them, a 17-year-old boy and two 18-year-old men, were apprehended for being connected to the shooting. Multiple guns were recovered from the scene, police said.

"I don't know what the actual solution is to the violence that's on the street, but somebody better figure something out real quick because we can't continue at this pace," Cleveland Councilmember Brian Kazy, Ward 16, said.

Kazy helped create an initiative to combat violence in the area after a shooting in July, even getting churches to help mentor kids in their neighborhood, he said.

"Before you even get on the court, you're going to have to go through a series of educational components that will allow you to actually play basketball on the court," he added.

To join the league, players have to go through a training process. They will take classes on conflict resolution and healthy peer interaction. The courts will be open and supervised from four to nine at night. There will be referees officiating games starting in June.

"Whatever the problem is, we're trying to solve it right by, you know, putting a more positive spin and more positive influence in the into Jefferson Park this year," the councilmember said.

This shooting is a huge blow, because nothing has seemed to dissuade crime – not the cameras all over the city, not the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance and not community members reporting suspicious activity, Kazy said.

Education starts at home, he said. With mentorship from community leaders and a positive influence from the league, Kazy hopes to make a difference in lives while also making the park a safer place.