4 juveniles struck by gunfire in Orlando park, police say

Callers report 3 people shot into crowd

By Dawn Jorgenson - Graham Media Group, Ezzy Castro - Reporter, Matt Petrillo - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Four juveniles were struck by gunfire in a park at 3101 Willow Bend Blvd. Sunday evening, police said.

The Orlando Police Department said a caller reported that three people shot into the crowd at Willow Park and struck three juveniles.

Police said the victims were taken to an area hospital. A fourth victim showed up at a local hospital after the fact and was later linked to the shooting, Orlando police said.

Police said they are looking for three possible suspects.

Investigators have not yet released the names of the victims. All four victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

"There's crime everywhere, you know, and the world today, it's just scary," a resident told News 6.

She spoke to News 6 on Sunday along with her young son, who usually goes to Willows Park to play.

"It makes me feel a little unsafe in the environment that we are in," he said.

Right now, Willows Park is under renovation -- including the replacement of the playground, benches, picnic tables and water fountains; repainting of the pavilion; repairs to the sidewalks; and clearing out of the underbrush. The renovation is expected to be finished in the spring.

The city of Orlando told News 6 in a statement, "We believe the renovation of Willows Park will result in additional use of the park, this increase in usage also means additional eyes on the park, increasing safety. "

Mondre Patterson, who lives near the park, hopes that safety will increase, but he isn't sure that will happen. He points out people don't mind the police substation that sits just around the corner.

"It doesn't make a difference, I don't think people care about that either," he said.

But there are some people who want to make a difference.

Sandra Fatmi, with the Pine Hills Community Council, wants to get crime results and clean up the area.

To do it, Fatmi said, people have to take pride in their community. That means if you see something, say something.

"If neighbors, our neighbors are telling us that there's illegal activity here then we gotta get law enforcement and make sure those illegal activities stop," she said.

Fatmi invites all residents to the next community meeting so law enforcement can hear their concerns. That happens the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. at 6408 Jennings Road in Orlando.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Crimeline.

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