At least 13 people were shot, one fatally, over the weekend, capping a violent seven days in the city.
Two of the shootings took place two blocks apart on Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. In the first, early on Saturday morning, 33-year-old Jeffrey Middleton died of a gunshot wound to the head and a 26-year-old man was injured in what witnesses described as a shootout, between Parkside and Clarkson avenues. Police said they found a gun in Middleton's car, where he was shot, but his brother told the New York Post that any firearm recovered must belong to someone else.
In the second shooting, early on Monday morning, four men in their 20s and 30s were hit outside D Avenue Sports Bar between Winthrop and Hawthorne streets. The gunfire came after a bouncer tried to break up a fight and got bashed with a bottle on the back of his head and slashed, according to a report by Pix11. The bouncer ejected those involved, and the shots rang out on the sidewalk outside, the station said.
On Sunday afternoon in Coney Island, a 68-year-old and an 18-year-old were both wounded in a shooting outside the Gravesend Houses, the Daily News wrote. And in the Fordham Heights neighborhood of the Bronx, a 9 p.m. Sunday shooting left a 20-year-old in critical condition and four others wounded, according to the tabloid. No arrests have been reported in any of the shootings, though police are treating the injured 26-year-old in Prospect Lefferts Gardens as a "person of interest," according to the New York Post.
The News notes:
Shootings are up in the city compared to the same time last year, as there were 44 shooting incidents with 53 victims this week as of 12 a.m. Sunday compared to 21 shooting incidents for the same week in 2014, data shows.
There were eight murders this week, compared to five murders in the same time period last year, according to NYPD data.
However, as Mayor de Blasio said at a press conference this afternoon, major categories of reported crime are down overall since last year. De Blasio said that most shootings lately involve gangs or street crews in a handful of small geographic areas. He said it is only a matter of time before the NYPD's Summer All Out initiative, which consists of pouring hundreds more officers into precincts singled out as particularly violent, ends the spike in shootings, as he said happened early last summer.
"We know we went through a similar reality last year, and we turned it around," de Blasio said. "We know that this year we can turn it around."
De Blasio critics have been citing the rise in gun violence as a reason to bring back the unconstitutional tactic of stop and frisk, but as the Police Reform Organizing Project noted in a recent email announcement, there doesn't appear to be any direct correlation between violence and putting minorities up against a wall without probable cause.
Two of the last five years with the highest murder rate (2010 and 2011 logged 536 and 515, respectively) also had the most recorded stop-and-frisk stops (601,288 and 685,724). As the tactic fell dramatically in use to 46,235 stops in 2014, homicides also dropped off, to 313 (for further reference, there were 636 murders in the city in 1964).
"The numbers just don't show the causal link," PROP director Robert Gangi said, noting that the NYPD isn't the only city agency that can have an effect on crime. "The overheated response to this is just that is just that: an overheated response."