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In-Depth: Garfield Heights neighborhood reports gunfire, safety issues

In-Depth: Garfield Heights neighborhood reports gunfire, safety issues
In-Depth: Garfield Heights neighborhood reports gunfire, safety issues
Posted at 10:57 PM, Apr 16, 2021

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio — Don Basquin of Garfield Heights is fed up with the safety of his family is being threatened by a new normal that is plaguing his neighborhood, including gunfire and other acts of lawlessness.

Basquin shared home security video that shows an SUV driving by and firing multiple shots in the area of East 115th and McCracken Road in the early morning hours of April 15. He said, sadly, gunfire in his neighborhood has become a common occurrence, and pointed to a bullet hole in his home—the bullet later found in a bedroom closet.

“It’s crazy, you got kids next door, you got a park out front and you got kids driving by at one or two in the morning shooting guns," Basquin said. “Me and my wife were in bed and we heard a bunch of kids out front and guns shots went off, and I didn’t even notice the bullet in the house until the next day. It’s just gotten to where it’s normal around here, I don’t ever remember this being normal.”

Other neighbors like Tucker Von Carlowitz reported car thefts, stolen vehicles running into neighborhood homes and illegal activity taking place at the Garfield Park Reservation.

“There is too much gunfire, and it was consecutive, like 'bang, bang, bang, bang,'" Von Carlowitz said. “A couple months after we moved in here my car was stolen out of the driveway. The first couple times you hear gun shots, you call the police immediately, it freaked me out. It’s complicated, but that’s not an excuse to give up and throw your hands up and say 'we can’t do anything.'”

News 5 contacted the Garfield Heights police department, the mayor's office and the city council-member representing the neighborhood, and they responded immediately.

Garfield Heights police took in the security video and said they are looking for a silver Jeep SUV, seen in the area of Broadway and Granger Road, in the early morning hours of April 15.

Police said they were unaware of chronic reports of gunfire in that neighborhood and said residents should always try to get the plate number of the suspect vehicle, but never approach the driver or passengers inside.

Meanwhile, Basquin urged residents to get involved, band together, create block-clubs, use social media, report suspicious activity and be diligent in contacting city leaders.

“If you see a description of the vehicle, don’t be afraid to say something," Basquin said. “I’m not going to dog on the police because I know they’re stretched thin as well. They’ve got a big job in front of them, there’s only so much they can do, but the city must do more to help us stay safe."