City officials comment on weekend shooting at park

JPD asks for public’s help in case

Permit issued for party, people injured

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A public gathering approved by city officials resulted in multiple people being sent to the hospital after a shooting.

According to Public Information Specialist Sally Smith, police got a shots-fired call around 8 p.m., May 23, in the area of Belt and Bridge Streets.

The facility, University Heights Lions Club Park, filled with what neighbors describe as ‘hundreds of people'.

Jonesboro Police Department released a few details Tuesday that at least three people were sent to area hospitals.

Police are on scene at the corner of Belt and Bridge investigating a shooting that took place during a permitted large...

Posted by Jonesboro Police Department on Saturday, May 23, 2020

One of the victims, according to the report, had a gunshot wound to the left side of his face and nose. Another had a gunshot wound through their right forearm.

All of the victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

A witness described one of the possible suspects as an 18-year-old African-American male wearing a green hat and driving a silver Hummer.

Witnesses told police the shooting happened at a party. Smith told Region 8 News the city issued a permit for the party.

On Monday, Region 8 News requested and obtained a copy of a special events application issued by the city of Jonesboro.

In that application, an event, known as “Jonesboro Day” was scheduled to take place from 3 to 7 p.m., with clean-up scheduled to end around 8 p.m. That’s about the time police reportedly received the shooting call.

Director of Communications Bill Campbell says the special events permit allowing the park to be used became out of hand.

“The word got out, spread to some communities beyond Jonesboro, and people came from all over the place and it just went from there," he says. "I think the intentions were good, it just didn’t work out that way.”

“The key sentence in the large venues of the director is this does not apply to open-area spaces with lots of room, such as parks and so there’s nothing really to enforce.”

Freddie Thomas, who has lived in the neighborhood for 18 years, said she is mad and is tired of the situation.

“Ninety percent of these people that were in this park today do not live over here," Thomas said. "I’m tired of every time the news comes on, they want to talk about North Jonesboro and what’s going on over here when these people don’t even live over here.”

Smith added three officers were in the University Heights Lions Club Park area Saturday.

Campbell says anyone wishing to report someone breaking COVID-19 directives can do so by calling City Hall, JPD, or the Department of Health.

Anyone with information on the Saturday shooting can call Jonesboro police at 870-935-5657 or Crimestoppers at 935-STOP (7867).

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