UPDATE: Mayor and Birmingham leaders do "damage control" - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

UPDATE: Birmingham leaders do "damage control" after fatal Railroad Park shooting

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BIRMINGHAM, AL -

Mayor William Bell joins Chief A. C. Roper and Birmingham City Councilor Johnathan Austin in working to allay fears after a Sunday night shooting at Railroad Park killed a teen. 

Late Monday afternoon, Mayor Bell wrote the following in full: "We have suffered another needless act of violence that further underscores the need for the street level approach to reducing crime throughout the city. I met with Chief Roper late last night and again early this morning regarding next steps in implementing the city's crime reduction strategy including reviewing procedures, approach, policy and tactics.  I have asked that the Chief look at all aspects and report back to me what we can do better to end the pointless loss of this and every precious life." 

A. C. Roper is asking the community to focus on the tragedy, rather than where the shooting happened. Birmingham Police Chief A. C. Roper states, "This is an active investigation where we're calling on the public to give us the information we need. I understand that many people are focusing on the location but let's not forget the victim. We've had hundreds of thousands of people to visit and enjoy the park but it only takes one troublemaker to ruin it for others."

City Councilor Johnathan Austin says it's too soon to consider legislative action or additional police presence at the park.

Austin, the city's Public Safety Committee Chair and representative for the area, says the crime could have happened anywhere. "I don't think that even the most important thing is to focus on where it happened," Austin said, "as much as why it happened."

Many people who visit Railroad Park don't fear the award-winning recreational area just because of an isolated incident.

"It just makes you aware of your surroundings," Carlos Pino, who bikes around the area, says. "But, I don't think I should totally avoid the park."

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