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Fort Worth police say it will take collaboration from city leaders, business owners to increase safety in West 7th

Fort Worth Police say they need the city's help to make the streets safe after deadly West 7th Fort Worth police say it will take collaboration from city leaders, business owners to increase safety in West 7th
Fort Worth police say it will take collaboration from city leaders, business owners to increase safety in West 7th 02:58

FORT WORTH - Fort Worth police identified the person they believe shot and killed a 29-year-old man in the West 7th Entertainment District last weekend.

"Every senseless death is tragic," said Sgt. Jason Spencer with the Fort Worth Police Department. "That is the case here. We know it doesn't matter where a homicide happens, who it happens to – it's a tragedy for all those involved."

The department says it has obtained an arrest warrant for the suspect, 29-year-old Karlove Palmer. Palmer retained the services of the Law Offices of Gill and Brisette. According to a statement from the law firm, Palmer turned himself into the Tarrant County Sheriff Monday "in order to expedite the investigation." He has been charged with murder.

Suspect in deadly West 7th shooting in custody 00:51

According to police, the shooting happened around 10:15 p.m. Saturday night after an altercation on a sidewalk on Crockett Street between the Palmer and the victim, 29-year-old Bryson Rodgers.

FWPD says officers were on the scene within a minute of the shooting and immediately started providing medical care. Rodgers was taken to the hospital, but he didn't survive his injuries.

The suspect ran away before police arrived.

"We recognize that the popularity of the West 7th area means that those who were down there that night were also victimized by this incident their sense of security is shattered by a violent event, people just out looking to enjoy an evening with their friends and family, and their sense of security is shattered by a violent event," Sgt. Spencer said. "We recognize that. We want you to know that we want all our Fort Worth residents to feel safe to come out and enjoy their entertainment districts."

Sgt. Spencer says the department is continuing to take proactive measures to address safety concerns in the area. FPWD has a full-time unit with 25 patrol officers devoted to West 7th.

West 7th has a variety of restaurants, shops, bars and entertainment options, and the nightlife scene can draw 8-10,000 people on a given weekend night.

The popular entertainment district has been in the spotlight after the fatal shooting of a TCU student last fall, a police chase with a suspected drunk driver that injured several bystanders in January, and this recent fatal shooting.

Earlier this year, the Fort Worth City Council approved funding for a variety of programs meant to address the safety concerns:

  • Installing traffic bollards to create one-way traffic out of the West 7th area after bars close for the night
  • Hiring a consulting firm that specializes in improving public safety for entertainment districts to conduct an assessment of the area
  • A one-year pilot Ambassador program similar to the one in place in downtown Fort Worth

"[The Ambassador program] just puts more eyes and ears on the street, a visible presence, not just for crime, but to assist people," said Sgt. Spencer. "It gives an extra amount of presence to address problems as they may occur."

However, it's not clear how quickly any of these initiatives will actually be put into place.

According to the city, implementing the ambassador program requires the creation of a Public Improvement District, or PID, for West 7th. At least 51% of property owners in the area have to sign a petition to move forward.

The contract for the safety assessment still hasn't been finalized either, according to parties involved in the negotiation.

"It's incumbent on all of our community – our city leaders, our business leaders, our political leaders, and the leaders in public safety to work together," Sgt. Spencer said. "And when we identify a possible solution, it's important to move towards that together as fast as we can. The Fort Worth Police Department stands ready to assist in that in whatever way we can."

City leaders didn't respond to multiple requests from CBS News Texas today for more information about the timeline of these projects.

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