Woman arrested after gunfire at popular Amsterdam park

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AMSTERDAM — Pictures taken in the middle of a sunny Sunday afternoon show a woman holding a gun in her hand at Veterans Park, shortly after a shooting.

The park, with it’s new splash pad and city pool, was packed.

Dylan Rivera-Rodriguez and his brother Nehemiah Torres recall the confusion.

“We were at the pool and there was a gunshot and everybody was scared and everything,” said Dylan.

“There was a lot of people at the basketball court because there were games and everything. There were a lot of people at the city pool, some at the splash pad, and everything. So it was crowded.”

36-year-old Josefina Baret-Araujo of Amsterdam is charged with assault and reckless endangerment.

Police say she shot a 38-year-old woman she knows and is fighting with, who is expected to survive.

The Summertime Love Basketball Tournament that was disrupted by the shooting, is all about fighting gun violence.

“If we are loving each other like that, like we did in the tournament, you see kids picking each other off the ground– it’s tough competition, which is expected,” said Summertime Love Tournament Director Robert McDonald. “But overall, it was just a general consensus that the kids had a great time, so seeds were sown.”

They honored Dominique Eley, who was shot and killed in Albany last year.

The tournament was moved to Amsterdam to keep children safer and give them a positive message.

“Hopefully with efforts like this we can curtail some things, make a difference, make other people start to think and maybe some of these kids will grow up to be the ‘powers that be’ and will have a different approach,” said McDonald.

After shots were fired at a Movies in the Park event last month, there was an increased police presence.

The park– overhauled thanks to donations– has been successfully turned into a gathering place again.

“The park has been going so well this entire year. It’s been rejuvenated and reutilized and gets hundreds of people using the facilities up here,” said Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti.

Authorities say the weapon used in yesterday’s shooting was a registered gun and that the suspect has a concealed carry permit.