'I can't duck because I'm looking for my baby!' East Palo Alto residents sound off about park shooting

East Palo Alto city council held a special virtual, meeting tonight to hear from the community after a resident, Ralph Fields Jr., was shot and killed in a local park on Tuesday. 

"We cannot solve this crime and we cannot stop any continuation of public shootings, violence, without working together," said Ruben Abrica, East Palo Alto Mayor.  

On Thursday, East Palo Alto city council held a town hall meeting with the community, local clergy members and police to start a dialogue about the deadly shooting at Jack Farrell Park. Many people said they don’t want to go back to living in fear of violence in their city. 

"It must’ve been about 50 kids out there. All of this transpired and I’m ducking and dodging but at the same time, I can’t duck because I’m looking for my baby. I’m trying to find my son, it was scary mess!" said JP, who called into the virtual meeting.  

"It’s the loitering that triggered this, that caused this, that was the foundation for all of this. We have to stop the loitering and I fully support cameras in the parking lot," said Brad, who said he lives nearby Farrell Park. 

Others criticized police for a slow response to Tuesday’s shooting and police not being properly equipped to give CPR. 

"When I got to the scene, I didn’t see any CPR being administered nor did I see a mouthpiece. When we asked the officer where his mouthpiece was, he said he didn’t have one," said Camilla, and East Palo Alto resident.   

City Council members also expressed their own feelings. After Ralph Fields Jr was shot and killed at the park, one council member said Fields' cousin, an NFL player, shouldn’t be associated with the case.   

"Davante Adams had nothing to do with what happened. He put exercise equipment in the park, he’s trying to give back to our community. We should never associate anything negative with his name," said Lisa Gauthier,an East Palo Alto City Council Member.   

Mayor Abrica says he will keep the community updated on the case and encourages people to stay engaged. 

MORE: Video: Children flee gunfire at East Palo Alto park where Raiders' cousin was killed

"We’re not where we were before and I think that the consciousness of the community has grown."

There are no immediate plans for another town hall, but the Mayor says counseling will be available for anyone who needs it.