Carroll Gardeners are still rattled days after a mysterious early evening shooting rang out on the heels of a big brawl in Carroll Park.
The knock-down, drag-out fight erupted between groups of teens at around 3:30 pm on Monday, just hours before several gunshots sounded, leaving neighbors of the popular park on edge and seeking answers.
“It is really alarming,” said Carroll Street mom Virginie Smith, who often takes her three children to the park after they get out of school at PS 58 across the street and wants to know what happened.
Smith said that she was in the park with her kids on Monday when the brawl suddenly started by the basketball courts, sending a 17-year-old boy to the hospital, according to police.
“We heard screams and everyone was running around,” Smith said, adding that ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars arrived soon after at the park bounded by President and Carroll streets and Court and Smith streets.
Little information has emerged about the fight or the shooting, but the incidents sparked speculation among residents, including a rumor, trumpeted by neighborhood blog Pardon Me for Asking, that the throw-down was a gang rumble. Investigation of the gunshots has so far yielded only two bullet casings found at the corner of Court and Carroll streets and no one was injured by the shooting, cops said.
No arrests have been made in either the shooting or the brawl, which are both still under investigation, and it is too early to say what motivated the incidents or whether they were connected, police said.
Some neighbors said it is not the first time teens have thrown punches in the park, but that the ring of gunshots has them in shock.
“I can’t believe it was a gunshot,” said Claire Nitze, who heard the blasts from inside her Carroll Street home and initially thought they were fireworks.
“It makes me worried about the neighborhood,” she said, pointing out that a man allegedly pistol-whipped and tried to abduct a woman in July on a nearby block.
Cops at the 76th Precinct said that since Monday’s incidents they have ramped up police presence in the park and that officers will continue to patrol the playground on foot and by car during busy hours and until the late afternoon.
“The park will be safe,” a police source said. “It will be covered.”