"We're deeply saddened by the loss of one of the young men in our community," said Meri Lyn Severson, executive director of the Lycoming County Housing Authority, the overseeing agency of Flanigan Park, site of Monday's deadly shooting of a 23-year-old man.
She said every effort is under way to organize a community meeting to address safety and other issues.
"The other thing is we need to keep in perspective is this isn't an issue of whether the housing, city or police is responsible," she said. "The only person for responsible for what happened last night is the shooter."
Saddened by the fact the shooting erupted during a basketball tournament by the OUR Youth League, Severson said for 364 other days of the year family and community members enjoy wholesome activities at the park at Little League Boulevard and Walnut Street.
"My goal is to sit down with the individuals who enjoy using the park and see what we can do to respond to this crisis to keep the kids safe," she said. "We need responsible adults to keep and eye on the youngsters, Neighborhood Watch groups, and I think that is the next logical step. I think that we need more community involvement and oversight of some of the young people who are utilizing the park."
One part of the park has been fenced in for years and any organizations that use it sign an agreement with the authority.
"We are aware of who is there and they have permission to use that area," Severson said. "There is some monitoring already in place, but I think that could be tightened up and we do that with involvement from the community."
Severson said she is hopeful to have something organized and together by next week.
"I think we need to take a breath, think about what happened and come together in a mutually respectful way and figure out how we're all going to play a role, each and everyone in the community, in keeping the kids safe."