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A celebration ended in tragedy in Warren Friday night. An 18-year old girl was shot and killed while attending a birthday party at a city park. Police are not releasing many details about the shooting and loved ones are trying to figure out exactly what happened.
Decorations from a party at Perkins Park Friday night still hang from the pavilion where McKayla Hopkins, 18, was shot and killed. According to police reports, Hopkins died after a single gunshot wound to the torso.
News of McKayla’s death spread quickly and many of her friends learned of the bad news through social media.
“It was all over Facebook,” said Lashard Cruse. “It kind of shocked me because I was just with her not too long ago.”
Though police would not confirm it, one witness said someone brought a gun to the park and was showing it off to some of the people at the party.
Shatara Crum brings her son to Perkins Park every week for soccer games. She was shocked to hear about the shooting.
“To hear that happened, it kind of makes you feel uneasy about coming out here, wanting to bring your kids,” said Crum. “I don’t understand why someone would bring a gun to a park.”
“It makes you feel like you’re not safe anywhere around here,” said Dustin Weaver. “It’s supposed to be a place kids come to play.”
Warren City Council President Bob Dean has worked to find ways to get illegal guns off the streets. He has traveled to Cleveland to take a look at their gun buy back program and is also trying to get help from state lawmakers.
“You can almost guarantee in a crowd of 30,40 kids there is probably four or five weapons,” said Dean. “I’m gonna ask again. Probably before our council comes back that we take another look at finding a way to get our gun turning program working again.”
Police have not made any arrest in Friday’s shooting. Anyone with information is urged to call the Warren Police Department.