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Residents, visitors react to deadly shooting in Forsyth Park

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 3:17 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A man was shot and killed in Forsyth Park in Savannah on Wednesday evening.

Savannah Police Department Chief Roy Minter says it shows a complete “disregard” for the safety of others.

“It’s alarming. It’s very disturbing. It’s troubling,” Chief Minter said.

No matter the day of the week, Forsyth Park is always a popular area. It’s a place where people walk, run, and enjoy time with their friends and family. It’s not often that it’s a place of violence.

“Bang, bang, bang, bang and I knew exactly what that sound was,” John Burris said.

Burris said he heard all the commotion when shots rang out last night.

“I said, I got to step inside there, might be more coming,” Burris said.

Burris said he was out on the balcony at a friend’s house who lives right across from the park.

“What a beautiful, wonderful city. It doesn’t need to be speared with people who have really no concern for human life,” Burris said.

Steve Hess said he’s in town visiting his son. He said Forsyth Park is an area where he and his wife always visit.

“There is a shock factor to it that something could be happening around us right now,” Hess said. “It’s a very concerning situation and incident that happened. What we have noticed this morning is we’re seeing a lot of police presence around, which we haven’t seen in the past few days.”

Chief Minter said the police department tries to have a presence around the park and Wednesday night they did. He said officers responded in one minute.

Savannah native, Tara Barnes said she would like to see more being done in the area.

“I’m not shocked. The only reason I’m not shocked is because you hear it constantly,” Barnes said. “More patrolling, foot patrol, more lighting. Maybe even some undercover.”

Very few violent crimes have been reported over the past 10 years in Forsyth Park.

Of those reported, all of them happened at night.

In February of 2018, WTOC reported one man was stabbed by another man during a fight in the park.

In 2016, we reported two teenagers were robbed in the park. They were targeted around 9 p.m.

Two years before then, in 2014, WTOC reported a man was shot in the park while walking home one night. The, at the time, Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department said the man was shot after he refused to give up his wallet during an armed robbery.

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