Shocking surveillance video of a man being shot in the Bronx while two young children are on the scene is the latest incident in the wave of violence taking over the city.
The shooting occurred on Thursday, June 17 in the Mount Eden section of the Bronx on Sheridan Avenue near Mt. Eden Parkway when a masked man ambushed another man firing several times.
The victim toppled over two children who were nearby aged 5 and 10. Reports indicate they were brother and sister and on their way to the store to buy candy. The video shows the 10-year-old girl shielding her younger brother from the bullets.
The targeted victim was shot in the leg and back and is expected to survive, according to police. The children on the scene were not hurt. Law enforcement officials said the shooting appears to be gang related. No arrests have been made but police have released a photo of a person of interest.
While the children didn’t suffer any injuries during the shooting, their parents say they’re traumatized. Speaking to the media, the father of the children said the emotional scars from the shooting are having an impact.
“They have trauma,” he said. “They can’t sleep. They are nervous. The boy sleeps on top of me. The girl sleeps by my side.”
Several elected officials have visited with the family and they attended a Yankees game over the weekend. Reports indicate that the family plans on moving out of the neighborhood.
Violence continues to take a stronghold on the city and appears to be increasing. The NYPD reported 10 shootings alone occurring overnight between Sunday and Monday in Harlem, the Lower East Side, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. On Monday before noon, two men were fatally shot in Inwood and Harlem in two separate incidents.
A volunteer for mayoral candidate Eric Adams was stabbed multiple times in the South Bronx on Sunday while handing out literature. The 42-year-old victim got into an argument with a man who stabbed him with an ice pick. The victim was taken into surgery where he was stabilized. Police have identified two male suspects but no arrests have been made.
One of the city’s youngest victims of recent gun violence was laid to rest this week. Earlier this month, Justin Wallace was just two days shy of his 11th birthday when was fatally shot in front of his Far Rockaway, Queens home.
Wallace was not the intended target; the gunman, Jovan Young, was aiming for Wallace’s uncle whom he had a dispute with over a parking space. Young is facing murder and weapons possession charges. Wallace’s funeral was held Monday at Full Gospel Tabernacle.
“He’s my angel. Somehow he’s looking over me,” his mother Aretha said during the service. “Justin loved his school, he loved his family, and he loved his friends. Anyone who knew him could tell.”
David Caba, who is the senior program director of the organization Bronx Rises Against Gun Violence (B.R.A.G.), said during an interview that gang disputes dating back to 2019 are one of the causes. He says in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, young people began beefing over social media. Now that things are starting to open back up, rivalries are playing out in the streets.
B.R.A.G. works with young people ages 16 to 25 through the Cure Violence model. The organization, which operates through Good Shepherd Services, helps reduce gun violence by identifying youth at risk for retaliatory violence and working with victims and their families and friends to help prevent future violence.
“During the pandemic of 2020, we’re dealing with basically two years worth of unresolved issues,” Caba said. “Couple that with isolation and the quarantine, young people are not very good at controlling their return back to a sense of normalcy in terms of those issues. We do multiple if not dozens of interruptions every night.”
Black Law Enforcement Alliance President Marq Claxton said socioeconomic dynamics continue to be the root cause of most violence crimes. He also says the police department is virtually out of ideas on how to address crime.
“Because there is a total lack of innovative thinking and ideas about how to address crime, police have become absolutely totally reactive,” stated Claxton. “All they are doing is responding to crimes, after they have happened. They don’t have the programs and the ideas, the innovative thinking to develop programs and initiatives that deter criminality. Police have made a conscious decision to do less because they’re not happy with the discussion and conversation surrounding reform.”
Crime in May rose 22% compared to May 2020. The AmNews reached out to the NYPD about the recent spike in violence in the city and did not get a response.
Speaking at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daily press briefing on Monday, NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison announced the department is increasing the maximum Crime Stoppers reward from $2,500 to $3,500. The move is an effort to get more people to come forward to report violent crimes.
“Crime Stoppers started in 1983 and has paid out more than $2.7 million in rewards,” Harrison said. “We’ve had over 3,500 tips, which have led to the arrest and the indictments on many cases. And these anonymous tipsters have been paid for helping solve close to 1,600 homicides.”