Coaches, Parents Hoping Gibson Park Can Be Enjoyed Safely by Young People

Police are investigating the shooting of 3 people at the Overtown park Friday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gibson Park in Overtown returns to normal after three people were shot there during a Pop Warner Optimist football game.

    Cheerleaders went over their routine, and young football players were ready for practice. Like most nights, the newly renovated Gibson Park teemed with the sounds of little voices getting in some exercise and learning about teamwork Monday.

    "It means a lot to them, because it keeps them off the street, and stay out of trouble,” head cheering coach Kendra Griffin said.

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    On Friday the park in Overtown hosted a few hundred more people when, in the middle of a Pop Warner Optimist football game, three people were shot.

    "I was over here with my granddaughter watching the game. And thought thank God we happened to walk on the other side when the shooting happened,” resident Tammy Tarver said. “And as we were leaving the park she was very scared and didn't want to come back."

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    The shooter was young and a local, residents said. As Miami Police continue to investigate, police officers met with park officials and members of the community redevelopment agency to talk safety Monday.

    "They're going to beef up protection. They're going to have more cops because visibility is everything,” said Emanuel Washington, who runs the Optimist youth football league.

    Overtown just celebrated the park's re-opening after a multimillion-dollar facelift. Children now get play in a water park, swim in an Olympic-sized pool, and enjoy sprawling football and baseball fields.

    "This is a historical park. I grew up on this park before they even remodeled it,” Tarver said.

    Now, parents are hoping the park, a resource for the community, can be enjoyed safely by the new generations.

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