No plan to alter patrol of Tampa parks following Curtis Hixon Park murder

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Those who live in and around downtown Tampa had strong reactions to a Sunday morning murder in Curtis Hixon Park.

Some, sadly, were not surprised things took a horrible turn.

“We have concerns about safety on the RiverWalk, here in the park, as well in the parking garage and on our city streets,” said Kimberly, who did not want to give her last name to 8 On Your Side.

She explained how she has seen problems brew over the past several months.

“There’s no accountability, no repercussions for the actions of these people and I think it just fosters an attitude and an environment that this behavior can continue to go on and it seems like it’s just escalating,” Kimberly said.

Things certainly got bad over the weekend.

Police gave a video clip to 8 On Your Side that they say shows a group of more than 100 people, some throwing punches, inside the park.

The group was broken up around 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Roughly three hours later, an 18-year-old man was shot in killed in the same location, police said.

8 On Your Side turned to the police department to ask if more park patrols are planned in wake of the murder.

“We also did have officers in the area,” said spokesman Eddy Durkin. “They were out there being proactive. We just can’t be everywhere at the same time, and unfortunately the officers weren’t there to stop it from happening.”

Right now, it appears there are no big plans to change patrols.

“This is a place where you’re supposed to come out and be relaxed,” said resident Michael Kaufman. “This isn’t Detroit.”

Kimberly wants action and thinks more officers who hand out fines might help

“I think they need to be a little more aggressive when addressing the issues,” she said.

8 On Your Side checked with TPD and no one has been arrested yet for the shooting.

The victim’s name has not been released.

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