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Community writes messages of encouragement to victims of suburban Detroit splash pad shooting

Community members write messages to victims of suburban Detroit splash pad shooting
Community members write messages to victims of suburban Detroit splash pad shooting 02:52

(CBS DETROIT) - "It was so hard not to cry when my mom called with the news," Elizabeth Grant told CBS News Detroit. 

Elizabeth and her mother, Shawn, live blocks away from the Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad. Saturday's shooting surprised them, especially since they frequent the splash pad.

Many are still processing the tragic shooting in the Brooklands subdivision, and residents are turning their pain into purpose by writing messages to families and quick first responders involved in the tragedy.

It's been less than five years since the splash pad was opened. Now, knowing it's a sight of disaster is puzzling.

"And having to think about -- walking around what used to be her [Elizabeth's] almost daily routine, for I need my calm down. I'm having an autism moment. This is my safe space when I go," Shawn said. 

The community writes well wishes to those involved directly or indirectly, and others stepped in to bring a sparkle of joy to the area.

Stephanie Curry, who owns a cookie business and is dubbed the "cookie lady," said she and her husband were driving by and noticed Sunday's gathering. 

They immediately stopped to offer support by way of free cookies.

"Just something that small shows a lot of love, and love is what everybody needs at this time, even though it's a sad moment if we can take that one little gesture and give you that cookie so you can feel some love for that moment then we've done our duty for the day," Curry said.

Some tell CBS News Detroit they had family near the splash pad when the mayhem started, and they quickly ran for shelter across the street.

As emotions run high as reflections set in, residents say this tragedy shouldn't stop community fun.

"There been talk about are we going to shut it [splashpad] down, absolutely don't shut it down! This is our community area, and as a community, we claim it and take it back," Shawn said.

Now, the community aims to shed light on mental health awareness.

"We just wondered what in the world went through this person's head and said let me get out the car and said let me shoot up a splash pad and my heart just drops when I think about it," Curry said.

Families tell us with the Oxford shooting being a little over two years ago, this one hits hard, especially since this community had to go on lockdown when it occurred in 2021.

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