PORTLAND -- Families enjoyed National Night Out events in parks across the Portland Metro area Tuesday night, including at Peninsula Park in North Portland, where a recent shooting shook up the community.
Amongst the crowd at Peninsula Park was Michael Pearo and his family.
"We were here last year and the kids had a great time," said Pearo. "Gives us a chance to come out, hang out with the folks."
Tina Berry and her family could not pass up the chance to get out and socialize with their neighbors.
"It's a good thing, especially for the community, since they had the shooting here not too long ago," said Berry.
The shooting occurred on July 12. On a sun drenched afternoon, two gang-related groups exchanged gunfire, sending children running for cover.
Background: Gang shooting at Peninsula Park
"We were actually gone for vacation," said Pearo. "But my son is on the swim team and it happened when he would've been at practice."
On Monday police announced an arrest in that case. Perhaps that explains the turnout at Tuesday night's event.
"You still have to come out and do what you need to do for yourself and your children and people like that don't last long on the streets anyway," said Berry.
That is not lost on Mayor Sam Adams. He, too, was at the National Night Out event. He said the big, diverse crowd spoke volumes.
"It sends a message that anyone who wants to make our parks, recreation centers, anything but safe, we're going to make arrests, we're going to find you, and the community is going to come out and say this is our park and not yours," said Adams.
That was indeed the message coming from the crowd of hundreds - violence will not be tolerated.
"This is a neighborhood. People live here, that's [the shooting] not acceptable, live and let live and be nice to each other," said Pearo.