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Changes underway at Lakewood’s Madison Park after shooting

Second shooting at park in about a month
Lakewood Shooting
Posted at 5:26 PM, Apr 14, 2021

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — On Tuesday, police said an 18-year-old man was shot in the parking lot at Lakewood’s Madison Park at around 6:45 p.m.

Local leaders told News 5 the victim is expected to be ok after more than seven hours in surgery.

Investigators with Lakewood police said they’re still following up on leads to find those responsible for this shooting and at this time, no arrests have been made.

It’s a familiar sight for many after another shooting occurred at the same park back on March 11.

Earlier this month, Lakewood resident Jon Wagner helped start the Facebook group “A Safer Lakewood,” which has accumulated nearly a thousand members.

“You know a lot of us are getting concerned at this point,” he said. “It’s only in the last year or so we’ve seen this apparent dramatic concern in crime.”

Wagner told News 5 he would like to see increased safety measures enacted after this rise in notable criminal activity, including designated a safety director, an increase in focus on out-of-town criminals, and increased surveillance and patrols in the city.

“With all the recent incidents we’ve had, this one touched a nerve,” Wagner said.

Just last month, a virtual town hall addressed the rise in crime in Lakewood.

While patrols were increased after the last shooting at the park, Mayor Meghan George told News 5 they’re taking precautions a step further by putting a police officer at Madison Park effective immediately.

“I want the community to know this is my top priority,” she said. “The difference is [with] patrols, they’ll be in the park for an hour or so. We’re going to have during peak hours, seven days a week, a police officer at Madison Park.

George said more sophisticated surveillance cameras should be installed in the long term, replacing the existing cameras, and reiterated that these crimes do not appear to be committed by residents.

"The last two incidents at Madison Park were not Lakewood residents," she said.

Several residents spoke to News 5 asking about potentially removing the basketball courts at Madison Park. While some spoke in favor of the measure, others expressed concern over losing the courts.

"Everything is under consideration at this point," George said. "We want to ensure the parks are a safe environment for our community."