Attack on ice cream man in Fort Worth renews crime concerns

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While there is progress in one crime-troubled Fort Worth neighborhood, an attack on an ice cream man earlier this week is evidence more has to be done.

The ice cream vendor was shot at an apartment building in the Las Vegas Trail neighborhood Wednesday.

The city has been devoting time and money to tackle the crime problem in that area in recent years.

The councilman for the area says crime is down, but there's more work to be done before the area is safe.

Fort Worth PD confirmed they have identified two suspects in that shooting at the Manitoba Apartments, off Gunnison Trail.

Fort Worth City Councilman Brian Byrd said there are two suspects in custody in the shooting, though Fort Worth PD said it can't confirm any more details until Monday.

Byrd also said this latest attack is maddening, because it’s in a spot they have been making progress on crime.

In the heart of Fort Worth's Las Vegas Trail neighborhood, the community basketball court is a place for both adults and kids to come together.

Charles Anderson knows the court is important for more than just the game.

“For me, being an adult now, I try to tell that to the next generation. Okay, don't go getting into trouble like your friends want to do,” said Anderson, who lives in the area.

Trouble happened just down the street from the court Wednesday.

Police say an ice cream man, who actually lives at those apartments, was pushing a cart when two people -- likely children -- shot him twice in a possible robbery attempt.

At last update, police said he was in critical condition.

“This is one of the good guys, trying to do the right thing, and he's shot for it,” Byrd added.

Councilman Byrd has represented the area that includes Las Vegas Trail since 2017.

The area has long dealt with violent crime, but with added city initiatives, numbers have been dropping, with overall crime down 10 percent year-to-year.

“Still, we've got a long ways to go,” Byrd added. “This isn't an area of town where we would recommend you just go for a walk at night for instance. It's not that safe yet.”

Byrd said there are 9,000 people packed in 33 apartment buildings. 3,000 of them are kids.

Work is underway to turn the old Westside YMCA into a community center, but Byrd said they need even more programs in the area for the children.

“We've got a long ways to go. You know, there's 3,000 kids here under the age of 18, and right now, we're able to provide the Boys & Girls Club to about 70 of them,” Byrd said.

Until then, those in the community will share what they can to give the next generation a brighter future.

“I just want to reciprocate the same things my elders taught me, to send it back to them,” Anderson added.

Byrd said Fort Worth PD has stepped up presence in the area.

He said this is a problem that's been developing over many years, and they know it will take years to fix.