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Residents 'ready to leave' after Robles Park shooting

Posted at 9:15 PM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 05:25:04-04

TAMPA, Fla — The President of the resident council at Robles Park Village says she's seen just about everything out here. At least, until Tuesday night.

"I've been around when bullets were flying, I've also had to run and duck and hide myself when bullets were shot," said Reva Iman, "But to have a kid shot. It's very saddening. Very disturbing."

Tampa police say a 9-year-old girl was shot on a basketball court in the complex that night.

And according to them, a 15-year-old pulled the trigger.

TPD says the girl is currently in stable condition, but Iman tells ABC Action News it's violence that has many people ready to leave the complex. Especially one mom, in particular.

"Her kids are traumatized by it and they were actually on the court as that kid was shot," said Iman.

Robles Park Village is a Tampa Housing Authority property that's currently set to be torn down and rebuilt.

Iman says as of now, tenants have been given three options: they can use housing vouchers to move somewhere else, they can wait to be rehoused at another housing authority property or they can go out of state.

But she adds that those who fall into that first group, with the vouchers, are struggling to find a new place in the current housing market.

"A lot of places aren't taking the vouchers and if they are taking the vouchers, some of the landlords are telling them that you have to make three times the rent, and it's not actually that. It's actually three times what your [public housing] payment is on your rent," said Iman.

As Iman works to make sure tenants know their rights when looking to move, she's also looking to the community to come together and end the violence.

So far, she's already spoken to TPD's new chief, Mary O'Connor.

Iman says Chief O'Connor told her they're hoping to do their part by getting guns off the streets and getting gun safety and education into schools.

"I think it's one of the perfect things she suggested because now kids are having guns younger and younger. Ten, nine, eight are having guns. But do they know the consequences of it?" said Iman.

Tampa Police has not identified any of the kids involved in this shooting. But they do say the 15-year-old who pulled the shooting is being charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and juvenile in possession of a firearm.