Officials respond to Saturday night Point Mallard shooting

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DECATUR, Ala. – Monday morning, Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling and Parks and Recreation Director Jason Lake responded to questions regarding Saturday night’s shooting at Point Mallard.

Lake confirmed 5,269 people were in the park Saturday night, compared to 5,600 on Memorial Day weekend. He also said seven officers were in the park Saturday night, more than Memorial Day weekend.

Mayor Bowling said patrons may have missed some of the officers because they were wearing shorts and t-shirts instead of the normal uniform.

Bowling also pledged changes to Point Mallard’s events, saying it would be comparable to Memorial Day weekend, where cones and volunteers helped direct traffic at the park

“There will not be a future event unless the infrastructure is in place,” he said. “We want it to remain one of the safest environments you can visit in this area.”

When it came to restricting guns in city parks, Bowling said recent state legislation tied their hands. According to the mayor, Alabama’s gun laws prohibit the city from even putting up signs asking people not to carry at the park.

Several people asked about bag checks, which Lake confirmed had not been part of the park’s policies up to that point.

Bowling and Lake both said retired police officers, retired and former park employees, and members of the community were at the park to help clean up the next day.

Throughout the interview, both Bowling and Lake said multiple times park policies are being re-evaluated in the wake of the shooting, but provided no details on what changes may be made.

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