Lorain Port Authority to close parking lot near Mile Long Pier starting at dusk

Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 11:34 PM EDT
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LORAIN, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 News obtained more details and 911 call audio from a weekend shooting that influenced the decision to close Mile Long Pier’s north parking lot after dusk.

According to a Lorain Police Department report, the shooting took place on Aug. 5 just after 4 a.m.

One person was shot amongst a group that gathered to mingle late at night at the pier’s north parking lot.

The 911 calls captured the chaos and commotion after the shooting.

“Yeah we got an emergency, someone just got shot, we’re on our way to Lorain Mercy Hospital.”

“I’m at the pier and it’s like a lot of guys with guns and stuff.”

“Can we have an ambulance to the pier please? Someone just got shot, please.”

The victim was transported to Mercy Hospital in a private vehicle.

Lorain police have not provided an update on the victim, and have yet to identify a suspect. Detectives are still investigating the shooting.

Another police report states a second shooting also took place at the pier’s parking area one night later.

In an interview last week, Executive Director for the Lorain Port and Finance Authority Tom Brown, cited the shooting as a reason behind the change in the pier’s parking lot policy.

“It’s escalated to the point that people that are marina guests and spending the night on their boat are hearing and seeing things they should not see,” he said.

As detectives continue to investigate the incident, pier representatives hope these incidents do not become a trend.

“The health and safety of our guests...is paramount to us,” Brown said.

Mile Long Pier’s north parking lot will from now on close starting at dusk after the Lorain Port and Finance Authority announced the change on Wednesday.

The new policy was a joint decision between the Authority, the Lorain Police Department and Oasis Marinas. In a statement also released on Facebook, the authority explained marina slip holders will still be able to access the area.

Brown said late night incidents at the parking area have lost control.

“Reports of people being loud and illegal activities, drinking, et cetera,” he said. “And it escalated into a shooting incident and we just can’t have that.”

Thoughts from those who visited the park last Thursday were mixed.

“They just get into things they shouldn’t be getting into,” said one person who chose to remain anonymous in relation to the late night activity.

“It’s going to make a lot of people mad, I believe,” said Dave Spaich, who was riding his bicycle along the pier.

A third person who also chose to remain anonymous added that “they’re not going to park all the way somewhere else and then walk down here. I don’t think people will come here then.”

The Port Authority’s statement also explains their changes to the parking policy doesn’t imply that the pier itself will close earlier.

Visitors who spoke to 19 News today hope the new parking policy doesn’t become a long-term solution.

“I hope not. I’ve been coming for many many years and have never done this before,” one said.

Brown explained the Port Authority is considering other changes as well. “We’re going to invest a large amount of capital into a permanent gate,” he explained. “It’ll be open all day, and it’ll close at dusk.”

19 News also reached out to the Lorain Police Department and Oasis Marinas for a comment.

The police department did not make itself available last Thursday, while an Oasis representative referred 19 News to the Lorain Port and Finance Authority’s Facebook post.

Below is 19 News’ previous coverage: