Public Square incidents have Cleveland concerned about downtown crime

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - In an odd twist of events, Cleveland Police are now saying that what they reported as a teenager shot in the chest Saturday night in front of Tower City on Public Square was not really that, instead, police are now saying there were two incidents involving guns that took place. 

The 17-year-old, police say they arrested, was running from police when the gun he was carrying discharged. The teen suffered powder burns.    

Another man was shot while arguing on the phone with his child's mother.  Police say the woman's brother rode up on a bike and shot the man twice. 

The incidents happened around 10:30 p.m. right next to the Jack Cleveland Casino and in walking distance from popular restaurants and bars known to jam packed on a weekend night. 

Octavia Gillion who works nearby, says it's no big surprise. She says you shouldn't be on Public Square alone at night. 

"No, you should be with someone.  When you are out and about you should be with somebody.  You shouldn't be alone," Gillion said.

Richard Boyd said last summer he had his phone stolen right out of his hand in the same area where the shootings happened. 

"I pulled my phone out. A kid snatches my phone from over there runs around the block, and you are out here it can be day time. It can be any time of day. You have people out here panhandling, doing all kinds of things smoking weed, selling weed around the corner.  I'm not comfortable with it," Boyd said.

But Vicki Gnall and Cyndi Schrul who were born and raised in the Cleveland area also say crime is everywhere and what happened Saturday night won't stop them from enjoying Public Square. In fact, Gnall says there are problems linked to downtown crime that need to be solved. 

"They should do something about the drug situation.  I just lost my son a year ago.  I think we need to do something about the heroin epidemic," Gnall said.

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