Parents react to park shooting

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2023

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Over the weekend 16-year-old Nasir Truitt was tragically shot and killed near Southbend Park, an area where many families often spend time together.

The park, often filled with young kids and families, was the site of a small vigil Monday in Truitt’s memory.

There were also several families out and about enjoying the park on a warm Monday afternoon.

Jesse Chavez said he and his family have only been to the park a few times. However, hearing about Saturday’s incident made him hesitant to continue going. 

“It’s been safe every time I’ve come down, but when things do go on, it makes you more hesitant to want to bring your kids to it, whether it happens when you’re here or not,” Chavez said. “However, like anywhere you go, things could happen, things could go wrong, things could get violent. So, in today’s world, you just pick your poison and you ask yourself, ‘Are you going to let that stop you from letting your kids have fun at a park because something may go wrong?’ because it’s not necessarily just this park, it could happen anywhere.”

Cindy Reynolds said she feels safe attending the park during the daytime.

“I feel safe coming during the daytime and when I have my daughter with me, but that’s any park to me nowadays,” Reynolds said. “I think you have to keep your eyes open and ears open and pay attention to what’s going on around you to be safe anywhere.”

In remembrance of Truitt, community leader Israel Barsh held a vigil at the park on Monday.

Barsh said he feels gun violence in LaGrange is a spiritual battle.

“The most important thing is that we merge these churches together, bringing leaders together who will go on their knees and pray — no more talking about it. We’re dealing with a spiritual battle. No matter how much you do naturally, this is a spiritual battle,” Barsh said.

Barsh also said he believes the cause of violence is unfulfillment in religion.

“Jesus Christ is the answer to the whole dilemma of violence. No matter what the parents are doing, the kids needs to know Jesus Christ early in their lives,” Barsh said.