Two men were shot and killed in Fort Greene Park on Friday, but by Monday afternoon the bloody crime scene was far from the minds of most park goers.
Children played in fountains, joggers pounded up the park’s challenging stairs, and workers shot some hoops on their lunch break, just feet away from where a shooter let off nine rounds, killing Jahmal Issac Page, 21, and Anthony Earl-Govon, 22, and injuring a third man at 11:30 pm three days earlier. The killings, which reportedly took place as some 50 kids hung out nearby, were a grisly reminder of a time when Fort Greene was synonymous in some people’s minds with crime. One park goer said that the past violence was not confined to the neighborhood, which has been a bohemian hots pot since the 1980s, but was a fact of life in the whole borough.
“It’s Brooklyn,” said Domenick Propati, sitting on the sidelines of a basketball game. “Depending on how long you’ve lived in Brooklyn, that’s what you expect.”
Police have no suspect so far in the killings, which occurred on the Myrtle Avenue side of the park near Saint Edwards Street, police said.
That fact worried Sean and Colleen Greene of Kensington, who were dog-sitting in the neighborhood but, after being informed of the killings, said that they would not return to the park. Despite the vow to keep away, the pair said the shooting did not come as a shock.
“I’m not surprised, personally,” Sean Greene said.
Long-term neighborhood residents vowed to stay put, saying that they do not want to cede ground to criminals.
“I’ve been living here for 23 years,” said Mayra Gonzalez, a Fort Greene resident who walks through the park every day. “I can’t let them bully me out.”
There have been seven shooting incidents in the Fort Greene area so far this year, compared with the same number last year at this time, according to police statistics. That is down from 14 shootings at this time in 2001 and 60 by August of 1993.
On Monday afternoon, two men walking out of the park referred to Myrtle Avenue by a nickname that is less prevalent nowadays.
“Do you want to take Murder?” one man asked.Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.