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Bed-Stuy residents slammed by week of shootings

NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 1/17/2013, 2:31 p.m.

It is not the OK Corral in Bed-Stuy, but anguished residents in the Brooklyn neighborhood are tired of the wayward youngsters who feel that shooting wildly is the way to resolve a dispute.

Zuadir Simon is 2 years old. His birthday was on Thursday, Jan. 10. On that day, he was playing in the always active Herbert Von King Park with his father, Lorenzo Simon, 38. After reportedly shouting, "That's him!" some bright spark took a shot at Lorenzo Simon. When officers from the 79th Precinct arrived at Von King Cultural Center, they found the father with a gunshot wound to the right hand and Zuadir with gunshot wounds to both arms. Both victims were taken to Kings County Hospital and are expected to survive their wounds.

Minutes after the shooting, police saturated the area, and while still looking for a suspect, they quickly apprehended one male suspect inside of a building by the park. On Friday, Jan. 11, Jamal Ali, 19, was charged with two counts of attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Also on Thursday, Jan. 10, in the 79th Precinct, just a few blocks away from the shooting of the toddler, Ivan Giovanettina, 41, was fatally shot on Macon Street at 9:30 p.m. after reportedly being chased by two young men who robbed him.

Video of the two suspects was aired almost immediately on TV.

Meanwhile, on Jan. 9, Gloria Johnson, a 90-year-old grandmother, was shot as she pushed her shopping cart along the corner of Blake and Miller in East New York. Some individuals got into a gunfight, one of them used the elder as a human shield and she got hit in the arm.

Speaking with NBC's John Noel, Johnson said of the shooter, "I haven't got anything against him. I want him to realize what he has done. I want them to turn their life around and give God a chance in their life, and have love towards one another."

In Plainfield, N.J., last Thursday, a 5-year-old was caught in crossfire and shot in the mouth. He was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick for surgery; there he was listed in critical but stable condition.

Back in Bed-Stuy, a press conference last weekend had Councilman Al Vann, Assemblywoman Annette Robinson, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and District Leader Robert Cornegy demanding an end to the reckless violence that visited the busy streets of the neighborhood. Residents also held a meeting in Herbert Von King Park on Saturday to address the issue of gun violence.

Local resident Malcolm Ford asked, "Have we become immune to the shootings? We used to rally when there were shootings. Have we in the community and our leaders become disaffected and unmoved? People used to run when they heard gunshots, now they don't. Where is the real search for a solution? Who is really looking into the issue of mental health and all these shootings?"

As he surveyed the scene where Simon was shot, he continued, "In Newtown they were immediately helped. They rallied ... got federal and state help, lots of funding and therapy--we don't get that. Why not? Why aren't we demanding this for our community? And why aren't our elected officials more proactive and less reactionary every time someone gets shot?"