Summit Park has been a site of two shootings in recent weeks, including one on August 3rd that killed 16 year-old Jose Carruthers–Paramo and injured two others.
Carruthers-Paramo's mother, Shasha Hippolito, say it hurts her heart to hear details about the night she lost her youngest son. Shasha says, “It’s just kind of weird coming back here now, because they were telling me where the blood was [at the scene], and where he was, and I didn’t know all that before.”
She wants more events held like the rally in Beloit, because she feels it protects at-risk youths. She adds, “Kids around here, it's like they don't have dreams or aspirations. I want them to get educated [sic] and see the world."
Reverend Keith Stamper, of Community Baptist Church, admits there is a black cloud over Summit Park due to the recent shootings, but he wants residents to feel safe when they visit. Stamper says, “This is a place where kids can come and enjoy themselves in a place I like to call 'cheap entertainment.'”
Carruthers-Paramo’s parents hope this event is a step in the right direction. Hipolito adds, "My baby did not die in vain; he's one of the catalyst that caused everybody coming together."
Police are beefing up security at all parks in Beloit.