Riverton residents were relatively unrattled Monday despite the news of a shooting death in the borough over the weekend, the sleepy town’s first murder in more than 30 years.
“It’s not a perfect town, but it’s a wonderful town to live in,” said Thomas Avenue resident Rachael Klabe, who lives not far from where the body of a Youngstown, OH woman was found early Sunday morning.
Klabe said she heard two gunshots—she knew right away they weren’t firecrackers, she said—in the middle of the night, but didn’t think much of it.
“I was half asleep,” she said. “I thought, ‘What crazy person is shooting a gun (at this hour).’”
She woke a short time later and noticed lights from emergency vehicles piercing the curtains, followed shortly thereafter by a knock on the door from police.
Although her sleep may have been disturbed, Klabe’s sense of safety is unshaken. She locks her doors at night, but is certain Riverton—a town of less than 2,800—is a safe place to live, despite the shock of the shooting.
“We hardly have any crime," she said. "This is a nice, quiet neighborhood.”
Howard Street resident Rick Wark agreed. It would be different if the shooting was the result of a home invasion, he said, or some other violent crime that could randomly strike anyone in the borough. But Wark didn't seem to think that was the case. He believes the shooting was likely an isolated incident.
“This can happen anywhere,” he said. “I don’t think anything of walking around at night.”
Jody Codella, who lives at the corner of Carriage House Lane and Thomas Avenue, not far from where the body was found, echoed Wark and Klabe. A 13-year resident of Riverton, she said she’s not concerned at all about safety in the borough.
“I think it’s totally isolated,” said Codella.
A resident of Lippincott Avenue, who wished to remain anonymous, said she doesn’t feel unsafe in the borough, but hoped the shooting might lead officials to consider better street lighting in the area.
“As much as it’s nice to have a dark sleeping area, it’s really, really dark,” she said, gesturing toward Carriage House Lane.
The woman said she’s lived in Riverton a year, and before that Washington, D.C., where she often heard “gunshots during the day.”
“I don’t think what happened (in Riverton) had anything to with anything in town,” she said.Stay with Patch for more details on the shooting as they become available.