Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb released a statement saying he was both “saddened and angered” after a shooting Saturday night following an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, that drew hundreds of spectators, left two people wounded.
“Last night, what should have been an evening of celebration ended in tragedy when two juveniles were shot amid a large fight that broke out after Cleveland’s annual tree lighting event on Public Square,” said Bibb, a Democrat, 3News reported.
The Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) said the two victims, ages 15 and 13, were taken to the hospital. Gunfire was reported at about 8:45 p.m. Saturday in Public Square. A suspect was quickly taken into custody but neither the teens nor the suspect were identified.
The mayor added: “I am both saddened and angered by this senseless violence. Enough is enough. It is time to break the cycle of violence and find better ways to resolve conflicts. Clevelanders deserve to feel safe.”
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According to the mayor’s statement, which was released on Sunday afternoon, a second suspect was also taken into custody. Both suspects were juveniles.
“I am grateful to the officers of CDP for their fast and effective response. CDP quickly identified and took two juvenile suspects into custody, both of whom will be presented to the County Prosecutor’s Office. The two victims, ages 15 and 13, were taken to the hospital. One remains in serious condition; the other is stable,” Bibb’s said, per 3News.
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And, “We will continue to focus on and invest in safety each and every day through our RISE initiative and numerous programs that support youth, empower families and improve neighborhoods. Safety isn’t just the concern of law enforcement; everyone has a role to play to ensure our public places are safe. This includes all of us, from government and police to residents, parents and caregivers. Report concerning activity. Know where your children are. Get involved with groups and organizations that promote neighborhood safety initiatives. A safer Cleveland takes all of us working together.”
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According to police, officers were responding to a fight involving a large group of juveniles that broke out after the ceremony when they found the two wounded teenagers.
An investigation into the shooting remains ongoing.