Police presence increased for Wilson baseball tournament weeks after gunfire

Greenville Tar Heel compete in the Tournament of State Champions
Published: Jul. 23, 2022 at 8:38 PM EDT
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WILSON COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Just weeks after shots rang at a Little League baseball game in the East, players are back out on the field for an all-star tournament, and police are making safety their top priority.

The Tournament of State Champions got underway Saturday in Wilson County and a number of fans from different states were supporting their teams.

Some didn’t know if the tournament would even happen. However, several Wilson County officers were positioned around the stadium and fans said that it provides a sense of safety.

“It brings a lot of peace of mind to not only the families but the players as well,” said Patrick Hogan, Northwood Little League Manager. “Obviously there’s been a lot in the news and the media over the last couple of weeks since the event happened. For us coming, we know that doesn’t symbolize what the Wilson community’s all about, but it does bring an added sense of security.”

Rebecca Agner, communications and marketing director for the City of Wilson, said that there will be both uniformed and plain clothes police officers conducting security for all games.

With the Wilson Police Department increasing its presence, Hogan said it gives everyone involved a chance to lock solely in on the game.

“To be here and allow us to really focus on baseball and to focus on these young boys is a special time,” Hogan said. “Special experience for them.”

Greenville Tar Heel Little League faced off against Tuckahoe Little League out of Virginia for the first pool game of the day.

The Tar Heel eight-to ten-year-old all-stars are not only representing the City of Greenville but also the state of North Carolina, which makes their fans proud.

“It feels good to be here at this awesome field and it feels good to be representing Greenville here,” said Mason Knox, a Greenville Tar Heel fan.

The Tar Heels won Saturday’s game with a score of 5-1 and will be back in action Sunday night at 6:15 p.m. when they face off against Northern Little League out of Georgia.

The investigation into the shooting at the ballpark on July 10th is still ongoing and Wilson police have not yet named a suspect in the crime.

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