Three days: 33 shootings
NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 12/20/2012, 12:17 p.m.
"Some of our city's neighborhoods and urban centers like ENY, Coney Island, Crowns Heights, South Jamaica, Far Rockaway, Harlem, and the South Bronx resemble Iraq in the day and Afghanistan during the night..."-A.T. Mitchell, Man Up Inc.
It is the first week of summer, and it has been heralded in by 33 shootings last weekend.
Early Saturday morning witnessed a young father being gunned down at a rent party. By all accounts, he was not the intended target.
"We don't walk around with guns. We don't have bulletproof vests. We just have heart," said A.T. Mitchell, founder and CEO of Man Up Inc. and operator of Operation SNUG/Ceasefire East New York, the violence prevention program. He and his team of outreach workers walk the streets of East New York in the 75th Precinct, where there has been an alarming number of gun deaths throughout the years.
A sense of foreboding rested over East New York on Sunday in the wake of a heinous shooting at a rent party that left one man dead and eight people injured.
At a press conference on Saturday afternoon in front of the crime tape at the corner of Wyona and Belmont in East New York, an incensed Councilman Charles Barron told the AmNews, "Wherever A.T. Mitchell and his team go, there has been a reduction of gun crime. They talk to the people; they offer them an alternative way of thinking and behaving. But instead of Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg recognizing this achievement, Cuomo wants to cut the very effective Operation SNUG, and the mayor has cut summer jobs, closed community centers and flooded our neighborhoods with excessive amounts of cops. More rookie cops on the corner is not the solution."
"It's hard to discern any pattern over so short a period of time. Peaks and valleys tend to flatten out over time," said Paul J. Browne, deputy commissioner of the NYPD. " For example, for the four-day period beginning Friday night into Monday morning, shooting victims totaled 33 citywide this past weekend, which was the identical number for the same weekend last year.
"You just didn't have eight shot in one incident during the same weekend last year to garner as much attention."
Less than one day and a just a few miles from the East New York shooting, five people were wounded at a barbecue when gunmen started trading shots. While earlier this month, a 19-year-old man from East New York opened fire on the Brighton Beach boardwalk, killing 16-year-old Tysha Jones and wounding four others.
As for the Wyona and Belmont shooting, word is one young man bumped another one; someone tried to stop the subsequent tussle and wound up getting hit and pulling out a weapon then sprayed the fleeing crowd. Twenty-year-old Donzil Rodgers was shot and died from his wounds.
Three men are being held in the case. No one has been charged yet.
Rodgers' cousin Joseph Dewedy stood and watched the many officers milling about the crime scene.