CLEVELAND - In September 2007, the grand opening of a new shopping center near downtown Cleveland pointed to the revitalization of the area.
“You got your Old Navy down here, you got your Famous Footwear, you got Target, you got a little bit of convenience of everything,” Nicole Wayne, Steelyard shopper, said.
Ten years later, the safety of Steelyard Commons is being called into question.
A fatal afternoon shooting in the Burlington parking lot has left many people wondering if it's still the safe, shopper-friendly place it was intended to be.
Recently, the Steelyard Walmart was spoofed as being “The Worst Walmart in America,” but it’s also been the target of criminal activity, mainly robberies.
Sandra Goldyn recalled one incident that happened earlier this year.
"A man walked out of the Target about a month ago, the lady accosted him, he broke his hip and he was a veteran,” Goldyn said.
In 2015, a woman’s purse was taken while she sat in the Starbucks in Target.
Most reported crimes have been petty crimes that simply come with an increase in traffic to an area, but on Friday, a man was shot in the head in the Burlington parking lot.
He was sitting in his truck at the time.
"You would never think that type of activity would happen down here,” Wayne said.
For some, it’s the pattern they’ve come to expect. It’s not just prevalent in new parts of town, Goldyn said it’s happening where we least expect it.
"You can live anywhere,” Goldyn said. “You can live in Brecksville, you can live in the southeast suburbs, you can live wherever you think you are safe and you're not."
Others said they don’t buy it and they won’t stop shopping where it’s convenient.
"I've never had any issues down here,” Ricardo Jackson, shopper, said. “I've never seen any issues down here."
In a statement, Steelyard Commons Executive Vice President Chris Goodrich said:
"Steelyard Commons is working with Cleveland Police to investigate the shooting that occurred at Steelyard Commons at approximately 3PM on Friday, October 27, 2017. At this time, we do not have any details about this isolated incident. We want to thank the local safety forces that responded so quickly and our own security team that followed the protocols we have in-place at Steelyard Commons. We are cooperating with the police to determine how this event occurred. Our first priority is to provide a safe, family-friendly shopping experience for everyone who visits Steelyard Commons, as we have for more than a decade."
Police have not named any suspects in the case.
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