While temperatures are cooling down, violence in the city remains a major issue, which is evident by the string of shootings that have occurred in recent weeks.
The NYPD reports that shootings in the city have doubled and murders have increased by 40% compared to the same time last year.
Last weekend, six people were shot in separate incidents across the city. At Rufus King Park in Jamaica, Queens, a man was shot twice in the chest and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. In the Bronx, two 18-year-olds were shot in St. Mary’s Houses in Melrose. One of the teens was shot in the back and the other was shot in the stomach.
A 60-year-old man was shot in the leg in Harlem and was taken to the hospital in stable condition, according to reports.
During a shooting that happened Monday morning in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx, a 19-year-old woman was left dead and two men were injured. Reports indicate that the shooting happened during a party at a club. The victim was Wendolin Ortiz, who died at St. Barnabas Hospital.
In Brooklyn, several shootings over the weekend left one man dead and three other wounded. A 22-year-old man was fatally shot on Sunday in Brownsville in front of the Allah School in Medina. The victim was shot in the arm, leg and chest.
Police are investigating a shooting that took place Sunday evening inside a subway station at Seventh Avenue and 14th Street. The station was busy at the time with riders getting ready to board a train when shots rang out. One victim, a 24-year-old man, was reportedly grazed by a bullet and went to a nearby hospital.
The city’s spikes in shootings prompted Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Seth DuCharme to implement strategies to address gun-related violence. The Office’s Rapid and Strategic Prosecution was expanded last month for rapid intake of federal prosecutions in response to gun violence.
“In the middle of a global pandemic, we have also seen a local epidemic of shootings in our city, and we are responding with responsible, data-driven measures to protect our communities from armed repeat offenders and violent gang members to prevent neighborhoods and public housing from being turned into battle zones,” said DuCharme. “Our message is clear: violent criminal offenders will be arrested, detained and incapacitated in the court system.”
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. and the NYPD hosted a gun buyback event at Bethel Gospel Assembly in Harlem last Saturday. The buyback received a total of 48 guns from approximately 40 people.
“Gun buyback events are impactful tools for crime prevention and community building, especially in times of increased gun violence in our city,” said Vance. “I want to thank our partners at the NYPD, the leaders at Bethel Gospel Assembly, and all those who helped make their community safer by participating in today’s event while practicing social distancing.”
Individuals received $200 for handguns and assault rifles and $25 for rifles, shotguns and airguns. The recovered weapons included: 19 revolvers, 17 pistols, four rifles, one shotgun and seven other guns.