Youth caught in crossfire as shootings continue to go up

Cyril Josh Barker | 11/5/2020, midnight
The city is reeling from another deadly month of violence. Numbers from the NYPD indicate that there were 137 more ...
Police line/crime scene Wikipedia/Creative Common/Tony Webster

The city is reeling from another deadly month of violence. Numbers from the NYPD indicate that there were 137 more shootings compared to the same time last year and murders are up 37% over the last 10 months compared to last year.

During the final week of the month, there were several shooting victims including a 14-year-old, and a father and his 8-year-old girl were shot while trick-or-treating.

The shooting involving the father and daughter occurred on Halloween night when the pair was hit by stray bullets in Harlem. The incident occurred at Lenox Avenue and 116th Street at 7 p.m. as several children were out.

Reports indicate the father was out with his two daughters for trick-or-treating when he saw a man begin shooting. The father’s 8-year-old daughter was shot in the leg and he was shot in the arm. A bystander drove the pair to Harlem Hospital where they are expected to recover. Police are still looking for the suspect.

In Brooklyn, also on Halloween, a dispute that broke out between two groups resulted in a 14-year-old girl being shot. Reports indicate the girl, who was not the intended target, was shot in her right thigh. She was taken to Maimonides Hospital in stable condition.

On Saturday, 32-year-old Sheldon Nyack was fatally shot in the chest in Flatlands, Brooklyn. Friends reportedly took him to the hospital where he died during surgery.

On Sunday, a 27-year-old man was fatally shot in the chest while in a livery cab in Jackson Heights, Queens. Reports indicate two men drove beside the cab and opened fire. The man died at Elmhurst Hospital.

Also on Sunday in the Bronx, a 36-year-old man was found by police with gunshot wounds to his neck and chest. He was pronounced dead on arrival when EMS brought him to Jacobi Hospital.

This week, Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the continued rise in violence and again blamed the COVID-19 pandemic and courts being closed. He also said massive job loss, school shutdowns and houses of worship being closed are factors.

“This is not like any year in the history of New York City. Nonetheless, this city’s fighting back. The people of this city had been working with NYPD to fight back,” he said. “We’re seeing a major, major increase in gun arrests. The NYPD has been making a lot of adjustments in strategy to address the situation, and look, we’re going to get past this because we’re going to get out of this pandemic.”

De Blasio added that the city’s recovery will begin next year and that major issues will be resolved. He said using a neighborhood policing approach by the NYPD will help get shootings down.

Last week officials announced the beginning of the next phase of community engagement to develop additional reforms that will allow police to better serve residents. Dialog continues between city officials, the NYPD, justice advocates and the community with plans for a reform package to be passed in partnership with the City Council in early 2021.

“The NYPD is taking this process extremely seriously and it is imperative that we hear from residents across New York City about what matters most to them,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. “We are committed to fair and transparent policing that serves all New Yorkers. By listening to feedback and incorporating recommendations into our practices and policies, we will continue to make New York City even safer.”