Residents Speak Out About Crime in Cheektowaga

June 15, 2011 Updated Jun 15, 2011 at 7:48 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By By Jaclyn Asztalos

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June 15, 2011 Updated Jun 15, 2011 at 7:48 AM EDT

A shooting at Cheektowaga Town Park has residents voicing their opinions about how to stop the violence.

Buffalo N. Y. (WKBW)- A meeting with Cheektowaga Police, Government officials and concerned resident was packed Tuesday night. They were all there to talk about a shooting death that happened on May 31st at the Cheektowaga Town Park.

Ira Watkins, 19, was struck by a stray bullet while participating in a water balloon fight at the park. Police said he was the innocent bystander caught in the middle of a gang fight.

Now, some residents said the park should be shut down for safety reasons. Others said the closing of the park would just lead to trouble for kids and teens in the area.

"It had nothing to do with basketball, nothing to do with kids on the court, nothing to do with the kids doing the water balloon fight. Ira Watkins was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the wrong people showed up," Cheektowaga Police Chief David Zack said.

The police said they are increasing the number of cameras in the park, adding license plate readers at the entrance and upping patrol to prevent this from happening again.

Meanwhile, police continue to search for the suspect responsible for the shooting death. There were more than 100 people who witnessed the crime and police encourage anyone with information to come forward.