Community reacts to shooting outside the YMCA that killed 1 person, wounded another

“I don’t know if anybody is safe here,” one resident said
Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 3:49 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 13, 2023 at 10:57 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Shocked.

That’s how some in the community are reacting after a shooting in the parking lot of the YMCA on Knight Street that killed one person and seriously wounded another.

The shooting occurred about 5:30 p.m. Sunday. On Monday, the Caddo coroner’s office identified 24-year-old Marvin Carter as the man who was killed.

[RELATED: 1 dead, 1 seriously injured in shooting in YMCA parking lot]

“You look at the Y as kind of like a safe space to go to, so it was a bit of a shocker,” said Imani Livingston, whose mother goes to the YMCA. “You know something, it can happen anywhere, but you don’t expect it to happen in places like, you know, the Y.”

Livingston’s mother attends classes at the YMCA. She said she doesn’t expect her mother to stop going to the Y. “She’s pretty active, for her age, so I don’t see her changing it. Just kind of being more cautious and aware of her surroundings.”

KSLA News 12 also spoke with people at a nearby gas station about whether they feel safe in Shreveport.

“The Y used to be the place you’d go to have fun, learn classes, things like that,” said Shay Belk, of Shreveport. “But now there’s more of a takeover of violence. So with this shooting along with the hundreds (of) other shootings we’ve had, I don’t know if anybody is safe here.”

Gary Lash, CEO of YMCA of Northwest Louisiana, released a statement Monday afternoon in which he said Shreveport police and Caddo sheriff’s deputies “... will increase patrols of the BHP YMCA area immediately to provide safety to our members and community.”

Authorities have assured that the deadly shooting was an isolated, targeted incident, he said in a public statement that mirrors a memo sent Monday to the YMCA’s members.

“The safety and well-being of everyone who enters our doors is a top priority of the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana, and we will continue to work with Shreveport Police to ensure our safety policies align with best-in-class practices,” Lash said.

He also noted that Shreveport police and EMS were on site within minutes of the shooting. “We are thankful for their quick response and are keeping those who responded as well as the victims and their families in our thoughts and prayers.”