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Maple Heights residents, city leaders discuss safety concerns after recent deadly shootings

Members of Maple Heights City Council held a safety meeting Monday night, a week after a deadly shooting in Stafford Park.

MAPLE HEIGHTS, Ohio — A community is still grieving a week after Mercedes Iverson, her unborn child and her husband Norbert Carter were shot to death by her brother Jason Iverson in Stafford Park on Labor Day.

"The kids were terrified; it was a lot of kids that were still standing behind trees after it was over, they just wouldn't move they were still shaking and crying," said Tyrone White.

White said he was cooking for the large church event at the park and saw the whole scene unfold. He told 3News' Bri Buckley that he ran into Carter just before he was tragically killed.

"By the time I stepped in the restroom the gentleman went into the restroom as well saying to me 'don't let him hurt me, don't let him hurt me,'" White said. 

In a safety meeting hosted by Maple Heights City Council members Monday night, residents came to voice their concerns, some specifically about the park.

"No one wants to go there because no one feels safe," one resident shared.

Councilman Stafford Shenett said this is the second deadly incident near the park within a few days after a 25-year-old man was shot to death early last Saturday morning on Joseph Street.

He's hoping residents wont begin to accept cultural violence.

"Its where people become immune to violence because it happens so much in your community and you don't think that there's any other options than to move out which creates another problem," Shenett said.

That problem, he said, is people moving out and leaving homes vacant or abandoned which could lead to blight.

Shenett proposed a number of ideas to deter crime including more block watch teams, utilizing Ring cameras to identify ongoing crime in the area and to be proactive for events with big crowds.

Many residents called for a more visible police presence.

"If the police car would've even been there and would've even been empty, I don't think that that would've happened," another resident said.

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