Lynchburg leaders hope meeting will curb violence in Fairview Heights

Published: Apr. 22, 2016 at 5:13 PM EDT
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It was during the lunch hour, about 12:40 last Thursday, when police found a man lying on this basketball court at Younger Park.

The man was Tyrik Barbour and police say he'd been shot.

Last December three other people were hit with bullets in the same park. No one died in either shooting, but the incidents have given some a negative view of what Andrew Reeder says is safe space.

"We know that those incidents are just a small part of the overall park and don't reflect the park," said Reeder, the park services manager for Lynchburg Parks and Recreation, which is bringing community stakeholders together next week to address crime in the Fairview Heights neighborhood around Younger Park.

Police and other city leaders will participate in a meeting, where recent violence will be discussed. A day after the April 14 shooting in the park, more shots were fired in an unrelated incident just two blocks away on Maryland Avenue.

Organizers hope next week's meeting will open a discussion, between law enforcement and the community, about crime and the people carrying out those acts.

"This is the kind of information the police need," Reeder said. "The more information police have, the more they know where to put their resources."

Patricia Braxton is a pastor in the area. Her nephew Shawn Moss was shot and killed in Lynchburg 18 months ago.

She believes the community can play a role in curbing violent acts.

"At some point we have to begin to trust each other," Braxton told WDBJ7.

Building trust between police, city leaders, and private citizens is something Reeder hopes the community meeting will accomplish.

"That's what Monday night is going to be all about. People working together," said Reeder.

The meeting will happen Monday night at 6:30 in the Fairview Recreation Center on Campbell Avenue.