Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow is still a safe place according to local residents and business owners after the morning at the East Meadow Shopping Plaza, located on Hempstead Turnpike at East Meadow Avenue.
The incident, which unfolded around 5:15 a.m., left Dwayne Oxley, 41, of East Meadow, dead and a Nassau County police officer injured during a struggle over the officer’s weapon. A second police officer shot Oxley when he had a chance to stop the struggle.
owner Marcia Krinick said she is not concerned about her safety in the area because, as far as she knows, nobody has had any problems in the shopping center. Her store stands yards away from where Friday’s shooting occurred.
“Overall, it is pretty safe,” Krinick said. “I leave here at 7:30 at night when it is dark and I have never had a problem here.”
She added that one of her employees walks to work everyday and “she has no concerns about it.” The only crime in the neighborhood that she has heard anything about was a few incidences of car break-ins, Krinick said.
Kenny Kaufman, a longtime resident who lives close to where the shooting occurred, said that he doesn’t think that Hempstead Turnpike, or East Meadow as a whole, is a necessarily dangerous.
“When you think of the odds, these are small numbers,” he said. “I don’t feel nervous, but I do feel that you have to keep your eyes open.”
“I don’t have any personal experience to say that I don’t have a feeling of safety,” said Chris Hackert, owner of , whose business is located on Hempstead Turnpike, but further east of the site of the shooting.
Hackert said that they do see homeless people coming to ask for money, but nothing that has ever made him feel unsafe. Though a couple of stores in his shopping center have been the sites of crime in the past few years, the shooting seems to be an isolated incident, he said.
Opinions on the police department’s response to safety threats in the area ranged from locals feeling comfortable with police presence to other thinking more training is needed on the force.
“I think the police are doing a good job. What else can they do? You can’t be everywhere at one time,” said Krinick, adding that the police seem fairly busy patrolling the area and will sometimes “swing by” the shopping center.
Hackert said that anytime there has been an issue in his shopping center the police always promptly respond and do “a fine job.”
“I think the police have to be trained a little better on their response to these people,” said Kaufman in regards to police response to similar types of crimes. “They have to be trained on the safety of shooting. I think they should be trained on the use of force and be very careful with what they are doing."
Do you think Hempstead Turnpike is safe? Tell us in the comments.