CRIME

Neighbors Concerned About Increased Crime Near Liberty Park

Jan 2, 2021, 12:19 AM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Neighbors spoke out after a deadly shooting took place near Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, saying they’re concerned it won’t be the last tragedy.

Police said the suspects in Thursday’s shooting were still at large.

Just a few months earlier in the same area, a bullet narrowly missed a little girl.

These two incidents were why neighbors said something needs to change.

“I’m tired of it, I’m tired of having gun shots in my neighborhood. I’m tired of having all this crap happen so close to my house,” said John Wilson.

John Wilson has every reason to feel frustrated – three months ago, a bullet pierced his daughter’s bedroom, just inches from her head.

“My family narrowly dodged a tragedy a couple months ago, and now, there is another family that has a tragedy – they’ve lost their young son,” said Wilson.

Just feet from John’s house, a make shift memorial was set up at the Corner Stop, located at 203 Hampton Avenue. That’s where one man was shot and killed and another was injured.

“They lost their young son,” said Wilson. “They’re never going to have him come home, they’re never going to watch him live the rest of his life, and I put part of the responsibility for that on Salt Lake City because they knew this issue was there.”

John said both incidents were tied to suspicious activity near the Corner Stop exotic soda store.

“This is one of the biggest drug dealing places in Salt Lake City right now,” he said.

And John isn’t the only concerned neighbor.

“A lot of shady people, wreaks of weed, there’s always people coming over, playing music all night,” said a neighbor. “I have been worried for a long time someone is going to get killed.”

A KSL records request for August thru mid-October shows neighbors made more than 24 calls to police, at least 9 of those times to report drug problems.

“All this drug dealing is happening right next to an elementary school,” said the neighbor.

Multiple neighbors told KSL-TV they’ve reached out to city and school district officials.

Apparently, many people at City Hall have talked about this,” said Wilson. “It was common knowledge what was going on. They said we’ll look into it, we’ll see nothing has happened.”

John said he fears another tragedy will take place.

“It’s not going to stop until the city steps up and does something, to enforce the laws and do the things they’re supposed to do to protect the citizens,” he said.

Officers said they aren’t sure if the shooting was drug- or gang-related.

KSL-TV reached out to the store owner who is leasing the property and have not heard back.

The property owner said they have not witnessed any suspicious activity and are cooperating with police.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Neighbors Concerned About Increased Crime Near Liberty Park