Oceanside improves Libby Lake Park security

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. – The park where two Oceanside teens were killed last month is being made over to improve security, but some neighbors worry the added security won’t be enough.

Libby Lake Park was filled with children laughing Tuesday afternoon, but that didn’t cause some parents to be hesitant to be there.

“I was kind of worried coming by myself with the kids,” one woman said while pushing her children in a swing.

Melanie Virgen, 13  and 15-year-old Edgar Sanchez was killed in a gang related shooting around 8 p.m. on March 13.

Two other teens were murdered in the same park in 2011.

After the murders last month, Oceanside city leaders decided the easiest way to improve safety was to make the park less teenager friendly. City Manger Peter Weiss said that means drastically changing the landscape and adding more lights.

“It was a nice dark area where kids could hang out and not worry about parents or police seeing them,” Weiss said.

The city started the first phase of the transformation Monday by removing trees and shrubs. Crews will also level off the slope of a hill on the Northeast side.  The city will install more lights shining directly on the area where the shootings occurred.

Police have also increased patrols.

“Teenagers are teenagers, they’ll find a place to hang out,” Weiss said. “In this particular place there was a lot of activity and this will help alleviate that.”

One woman Joanna, who declined to give her full name, says the current plans are a good start, but she won’t rest easy until more is done.

“I hope it stops the violence, but I don’t know if just by cutting down the trees it will help,” Joanna said.


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