COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Following a scary series of events earlier this week, a community is coming together to support Barnett Recreation Center.
Columbus Police say a 19-year-old man was shot outside the center Tuesday night as two suspects tried to rob him. The man is expected to make a full recovery, according to police.
Staff members jumped quickly into action Tuesday evening. Children were playing outside when the shooting happened, according to the Recreation and Parks Department.
A department spokesperson says staff members got the kids inside right away, and one employee helped the shooting victim until police and EMTs arrived.
“We’re out today to show our support for this organization that’s been here 50-plus years in our community. And we don’t want to let one incident change peoples’ perceptions of how many lives this organization has changed,” said Quay Barnes, Chair of the Mideast Area Commission.
“The fact and the way they got the building — and the people — secured, and then to actually stay with the victim until the victim could get help, this is not a surprise to me,” said Barnes.
“This staff has always gone above and beyond whatever the community needed, whatever was needed here at the center itself. I’m very proud of them.”
The Mideast Area Commission and other organizations gathered at the community center Thursday afternoon to make sure the staff feels appreciated. At the end of the gathering, the center’s manager led the group on a lap around field at the community center.
It was a lap of strength to show they are not letting Tuesday’s incident slow their work.
“We don’t just recreate in that building, we help, we heal, we help each other: We call it from womb to tomb. We are here for you the whole time,” said Maggie Davis, Center Manager.
“We’re here just doing. We do want the community to know we are a beacon of safety. I promise, we are here for you if you need anything.”
If you have any information about the shooting, you’re asked to call Columbus Police.