ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Monday, Mar 6, at Cedar Ridge Park, just across the street from West Mesa High School, a shooting left two students injured. One of those teens was a 15-year-old female West Mesa student, who sustained a gunshot wound. The other was a 15-year-old male eCADEMY student who was injured while running away. Parents and students are now concerned that the park may be a larger issue.
“I think it’s horrible that our kids aren’t even safe to come to school, and I’m a mustang, go mustangs! But it’s sad that kids are not taking their lives important or their education,” Stacie Curran, a West Mesa parent said.
Parents, students, and staff of West Mesa say they’ve complained for years about the park and what goes on there. A school employee, who did not want to be named, said students go over there during the school day to do drugs, drink booze, and fight. Now, things have escalated to a shooting.
“What I’m scared of is like it’s so close to school. Like let’s say one of the people getting shot at gets scared and runs out in the street, people don’t know how to aim.” Jeremiah Perea, a student, says he’s afraid the violence could eventually involve an innocent bystander or a student-athlete simply practicing on the school’s field – which is a stone’s throw away from the so-called problem park. “All that needs to happen is a random bullet fly out on the field and then shooting somebody that potentially had a career, potentially could have gone to college,” Perea said.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Division says they are working with the school district and the Albuquerque Police Department to address the safety concerns arising from the park. A camera trailer, which is connected to the real-time crime center, was installed at Cedar Ridge Park immediately following Monday’s shooting.
But parents think even more needs to be done before it’s too late. “Why would this place even be open during school hours to even give kids an opportunity to go there,” Curran said. “I don’t think they should close it cause I know there are other people in the community that use it for their dogs and good purpose, but I think during school hours, for our kids to be safe, we should keep it locked.”
The Parks and Recreation Division says over the last year, there have been five 311 reports to that park.