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Neighbors concerned about safety following shooting at Cleveland Heights basketball court

Posted at 6:06 PM, Mar 22, 2022

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Cleveland Heights Police are looking for suspects involved in a shooting at a popular park this week. Investigators say a 14-year-old boy was hurt when a shooter opened fire at a Cain Park basketball court Monday.

“We were walking through as the gunfire erupted by the basketball court. It was crazy. There were kids out here and everything so it was crazy,” said Jay, an eyewitness who asked News 5 not to show his face or use his last name.

Jay was back at the park Tuesday to find a cell phone he dropped during the chaos.

“It was scary [for] my safety, everyone’s safety, for real,” he said. “It was very scary.”

Bryan Heard, who lives across the street from Cain Park, also recounted the frightening situation.

“At first I heard 3 gunshots. My wife was trying to look out the window to see what’s going on. I told her to get out of the window. Then I ducked behind the couch and there were 3 more gunshots ringing out,” Heard said.

Police responded to the report of shots fired at the park’s basketball court shortly after 6 p.m. Monday. When officers arrived, they found a 14-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the buttocks. Medics transported him to a nearby hospital and he was released later that evening.

As of Tuesday evening, no arrests had been made in the case.

“I’m just glad he wasn’t severely injured,” said Heard. “It’s just a shame. Kids want to come over here just to relax, blow off some steam playing basketball or skateboarding. And then something like this happens.”

Other neighbors said violence at the park, which is located near an arterial road connecting Cleveland Heights to East Cleveland and South Euclid, does not come as a shock.

“It’s really hard to say where it’s coming from or why this is happening, but I’m not surprised,” Corinne Miller said of the violence.

The mother of several young children said Cain Park usually feels safe. She praised its upkeep and the police patrols she routinely sees when bringing her children to the playground.

“I don’t know what else the city could do. It is a place where people congregate, so things are bound to happen,” she said.

Heard told News 5 he’d like to see more police cruisers patrolling the area.

“It’s not even summer yet and this is happening. This is going to be an ordeal this summer, I think,” he said.

The city of Cleveland Heights said it plans to increase police patrols near the park. Tuesday, more officers were canvassing the area to investigate the shooting and look for potential suspects.

RELATED: 14-year-old shot at Cleveland Heights basketball court

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