Community reacts to shooting that kills Birmingham police officer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Residents of the Ensley community are reacting to the news that Birmingham police officer Keary Hollis was shot and killed Saturday night.

Orlando Parker lives across the street from the scene. He had just gotten home from the store with his son, Alexander, when the shots were fired.

“We heard two shots when we got in the house,” Parker said. “I looked out the window and saw a whole bunch of people running from the store.”

Parker had just moved into his home three weeks ago.

“We just moved up here. I can’t believe this happened this quick. And on Mother’s Day weekend.”>

Others in the community were learning about the incident Sunday morning. Many learned of the news by asking why so many news stations were in the area. One many said he felt for the Birmingham Police Department because of the rough month they have been having with officer involved shootings and accidents.

“We’ve got to come up with something, try to find a way to make the streets of Birmingham safe,” said Herman Henderson, the president of “Stop the Violence.” He spent most of the night at the scene before returning Sunday morning.

Parker has one suggestion: prevent loitering at convenience stores.

“You can’t be out there all night. You have people pulling up and people arguing with each other and we get caught in the crossfire,” Parker said. “I try to keep my son away from violence. Try to let him not see or hear anything.”

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