Shooting sparks discussion on future of Thunder Alley
OKLAHOMA CITY — The shooting following Monday night’s Thunder game has left many wondering if there’s enough security to control the huge crowds in Thunder Alley and around Bricktown on game nights.
The mayor even met with police to review what happened and what needs to change next week.
The enthusiastic crowds have taken city leaders by surprise.
“It’s growing faster than our ability to handle it so far,” OKC Mayor Mick Cornett said.
The mayor admits the shooting Monday night damaged Thunder Alley’s reputation as a family friendly affair.
Leaders in Bricktown hope the violence doesn’t keep people away in the future.
“The one thing we want to make clear is this is not a reflection on how safe a district we are,” Bricktown Asso. Pres. Jeanette Smith said.
Smith estimates more than 100 officers were downtown before the shooting so controlling the crowds isn’t as simple as adding more cops.
“We look at it as a random isolated incident. I don’t know what can be done differently,” Smith said.
“If someone is walking down the street, you can’t blame law enforcement officers and say that person shouldn’t have had a gun,” Councilman Skip Kelly said.
“We just need to figure out a way to make sure this is a safe environment for everyone who wants to come down,” Mayor Cornett said.
For his part, the mayor predicts the celebrations may have to be curtailed but exactly how that may happen hasn’t been decided.
“We’re gonna talk about Thunder Alley and how to improve it going forward. It’s a tremendous asset to the city,” Mayor Cornett said. “Let’s figure it out and make the next gathering bigger and safer than ever.”
The Thunder is actually responsible for putting on Thunder Alley.
The city said police leadership will meet with Thunder staff to make changes at Thunder Alley.
The team said in a statement, they’ll work with the city and police to review security and crowd control policies.