Shots fired during basketball game at New London park

Riverside Park in New London (WTNH / Tina Detelj)
riverside park shots fired 1 Shots fired during basketball game at New London park
People heard the sound of gunfire at Riverside Park in New London Sunday (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — On weekends, Riverside Park comes to life with its playground dedicated to Sandy Hook student Emily Parker, barbecues, and basketball games but some feared for their life on Sunday afternoon.

“I’m standing near the window doing dishes and I just hear in quick succession a bunch of gunshots and I ran outside to check to see what’s going on,” said Larenz Simpkins who lives within earshot of the New London park.

He was worried about his little brother who was outside their house.

“I was like get in the house and I see a bunch of people scattered running away from the park,” said Simpkins.

Police say a dispute during a basketball game turned dangerous once bullets started flying just before 3:00 P.M.

“At this point we don’t believe anyone was hurt,” said Acting New London Police Chief Peter Reichard. “We had no reports. We notified all the local hospitals but no one ever notified us of any gunshot victims.”

Detectives did recover several shell casings and at least one bullet.

“They found a projectile lodged inside of a tree that they removed yes,” said Acting Chief Reichard.

Police received several 911 calls reporting multiple shots fired but some neighbors didn’t even realize what they heard.

“The way it sounded growing up we used to have firecrackers I thought it was that,” said Ken Hamilton.

Police say they rarely get any calls for incidents like this at the park. Simpkins isn’t worried about living nearby.

“No cause that’s an anomaly,” said Simpkins. “That doesn’t happen very often.”

Even though it’s a rare occurrence Hamilton is worried. “Of course of course I am,” he said. “Like they say nowadays if you hear something see something say something.”

Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to give them a call. They can do so anonymously.

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