Dayton Shooting: With emotions raw, National Night Out especially important this year, mayor says

Dayton Shooting: With emotions raw, National Night Out especially important this year, mayor says
(MONICA CASTRO / STAFF)

DAYTON — It’s a tradition for many communities to host National Night Out events for people to get to know their neighbors and first responders in the community.

Just two days after the mass shooting in Dayton’s Oregon District, many say National Night Out came at a perfect time.

News Center 7’s Monica Castro spoke with Dayton’s mayor and first responders who were welcomed into Newcom Founders Park near the Oregon District with applause and hugs.

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The shooting left nine people dead and dozens of others injured before Dayton police shot and killed the gunman, preventing him from doing more damage.

With emotions still raw, Mayor Nan Whaley said it was particularly important to continue with the city’s National Night Out plans.

“We wouldn’t give this up for anything. It’s so important to the community and the police need it, too,” she said.

Whaley said it also helps the community heal.

“Here we are saying the community is strong. The reason why we are strong is because we care about each other,” she said.

Cynthia Taylor, who lives near the Oregon District, said she participated in National Night Out to help her neighbors.

“That’s it so people could get together and mourn and help each other get through it,” she said.

Whaley and first responders made five stops Tuesday night.

Their first stop was Residence Park on West Second street.

Pearl Howard admitted she was worried National Night Out plans would change after Sunday.

“I’m happy they didn’t cut it out just because of the tragedy,” said Howard, a Residence Park resident. “We’re not going to let episodes like that frighten us.”

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