City of Akron responds to residents concerned over reports of gunshots at Davenport Park

Davenport park closed after shots fired after fight

AKRON - Reports of fights and gunshots at Davenport Park has some Ellet residents concerned.

Some are even calling for the park's closure.

On Wednesday, the city of Akron removed the park's basketball hoops and locked all the doors after residents complained.

There have been several reports of gunshots being fired at the park this week and one incident was allegedly caught on camera.

In a video that's made its way across Facebook, a fight breaks out at the park. Later, apparent gunshots can be heard, sending people scrambling to safety. Akron Police said they are currently looking into the incident.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan says the future of the basketball courts will be a "community-driven decision," meaning it has not been determined if the removal of the hoops will be permanent. The tennis courts remain accessible.

Ward 6 Councilman Bob Hoch said the move to temporarily close the park was also considered about two years ago. He said reports of fights and vulgar language at the park have had residents concerned over the past few years. 

"We had hundreds of people down here last night when the gunshots rang out; my niece was one of them," said Hoch. "She said it was mayhem."

Hoch said the closure sends a message to the community that the city won't tolerate bad behavior and violence. 

"You’ve been told, knock it off. You need to watch your language; you need to leave other people alone. You need to be respectful."

While some support the closure, others are unsure if it will bring about a positive change. 

WKYC's Amani Abraham visited the park Wednesday morning:

Here's what one resident had to say about the park:

Here's how Councilman Bob Hoch responded:

Mayor Horrigan sent the following statement out Wednesday afternoon:

“I have heard the concerns of the Ellet community and am aware of the unsettling events at Davenport Park last night.  I have temporarily shut down the basketball courts to alleviate community concerns while we gather additional feedback from residents. The future of the basketball courts at Davenport Park will be a community-driven decision.  City parks are community assets that are designed to be enjoyed, accessible, and, above all, safe.” 

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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