DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — It’s been one year since a single gunshot was set off near the Dayton Children’s Parade, causing panic and canceling the parade.
2 NEWS Reporter Allison Gens was covering the parade when it happened. She remembers all of the chaos and confusion after the shot was fired.
According to the Dayton Police Department, a juvenile reportedly sent a single gunshot into the air after a fight broke out near the parade route. No one was hurt, but it caused mass panic at the event.
Since the incident, the Dayton Police Department has conducted multiple interviews, recovered the weapon and identified a suspect. Major Christopher Malson reported that there is not currently enough evidence or witnesses to formally charge the suspect.
Malson said this was an isolated incident and it is being used as a learning experience when approaching this year’s event.
“After every event, we analyze it. How is our response? Did we have the right number of people? Were they in the right location and did they respond the right way?” said Malson.
“So we did that analysis after this part of planning for this year as we took those lessons learned and we adapted our plan for this year to hopefully make it a safer and better place for everybody to be.”
The Dayton Police Department is asking that any witnesses come forward, whether you saw the fight break out or if you have any cellphone video from the incident.
This year’s Dayton Children’s Parade and Dayton Holiday Festival are set to take place as planned but with some changes.
Katie Meyer, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership, said the Dayton Holiday Festival will be starting and ending an hour earlier, taking place from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24. There will also be an increased police presence at the event, including bike patrol.
Behind the scenes, the Downtown Dayton Partnership and the Dayton Police Department have been working together to improve communication and add additional security resources.
“It is just not an option to say because of one isolated incident that we are no longer going to continue this community legacy event. This is the 51st year so many people have so many memories connected to coming downtown for the holidays, the parade, the windows the illumination. And it’s going to continue, hopefully, for another 50 years,” said Meyer.
For more information about the Dayton Holiday Festival, click here.
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