Four men are dead and at least 36 people were wounded in an outburst of violence across New York City under the cover of Fourth of July fireworks, police officials reported Sunday.
The violence capped a night of revelry in many neighborhoods that witnessed their own illegal fireworks displays. People came out to enjoy them, though many did not wear masks or practice social distancing despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The exact number of shootings that occurred overnight was not clear; police were investigating other possible episodes of gunfire. As of 3 p.m. July 5, the NYPD had recorded 20 shootings and 36 victims on the day. Between 12:01 a.m. July 4 and 3 p.m. July 5, there were 27 shootings and 43 victims in total.
The majority of incidents happened early Sunday morning. Three homicides occurred in Brooklyn, which has witnessed a troubling increase in shootings — some of which are believed to be gang-related — over the past month.
The first homicide occurred at 12:43 a.m. Sunday at 207 Atkins Ave. in East New York, where officers from the 75th Precinct found a 20-year-old man with a bullet wound to the chest.
Paramedics rushed him to Brookdale University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police have withheld his identity, pending family notification.
The second homicide occurred at 4:22 a.m. on July 5 in front of 685 East 39th St. in East Flatbush. There, officers from the 67th Precinct found a 19-year-old man shot to the chest, and a 27-year-old shot in the shoulder.
Both were taken by EMS to Kings County Hospital, where the 19-year-old man died of his wounds. The other victim was listed in stable condition. Neither man has been identified.
Law enforcement sources said the two victims were hit by gunfire while among a large crowd of revelers shooting off boxes of fireworks at the location – empty bottles of Hennesey liquor were strewn around. It’s unclear, at this point, where the shots came from.
“I don’t know they had to start shooting here,” said one resident who wouldn’t give his name. “People were having a good time, and then someone started shooting. I don’t understand it.”
The third deadly shooting occurred less than an hour later, at 5:15 a.m. when a 40-year-old man was shot once in the chest in front of 335 Sutter Avenue at the Langston Hughes Houses, a NYCHA development.
Cops found the victim lying on the ground in a parking area next to a children’s playground, a designer Hilfiger red hat lying next to the blood stained sidewalk. A boom box was standing nearby, where revelers were playing music by Pop Smoke, a witness said.
Police from the 73rd Precinct and Housing cops sealed off the area, but witnesses were apparently not cooperating in the case.
The victim was rushed to Brookdale University Medical Center, where he later died.
“There’s a lot of angry people walking around – they been locked up for so like because of this Covid thing – it’s like unleashing a Rottweiler,” one woman resident said.
A fourth deadly shooting occurred in Manhattan, when a 23-year-old man was shot in the back inside of 1111 Amsterdam Ave. at 2:42 a.m. on July 5.
According to police, the wounded victim arrived at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital moments later, having been brought there by private means. He later died of his injuries. Police have withheld his identity, pending family notification.
Shootings and stabbings
The following is a chronology of other violent episodes across the city between the night of July 4 and the morning of July 5:
7:15 p.m., July 4 — A woman was shot in the leg by gunfire while walking into her building at the Bayview Houses complex in Brooklyn. Police did not disclose where the shot had come from. Paramedics rushed the victim to Brookdale Hospital in stable condition.
10:15 p.m. — Officers from the 114th Precinct opened fire on a 23-year-old man whom they witnessed allegedly firing shots at the corner of Vernon Boulevard and 41st Avenue in Long Island City, Queens. Police officials say the suspect then aimed his gun at the officers, who then fired shots at the suspect, but didn’t hit him. The suspect quickly surrendered to the officers, who were later treated for tinnitus.
11 p.m. — A man was shot in the back at the corner of 176th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Washington Heights. Paramedics brought the victim to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in stable condition. Police said the victim has been uncooperative with detectives, who are also studying security camera video near the scene to find the suspect.
Just before midnight — Someone fired a shot through the windshield of a 40th Precinct police car along Alexander Avenue in Mott Haven, Bronx. Two officers inside the vehicle were not hit; the bullet struck the cruiser’s center console. Police said large crowds in the street made it difficult to identify the attacker.
1 a.m. July 5 — A 26-year-old man is in critical condition after he and five others people were shot at a house party on 131st Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem. Four people were taken to Harlem Hospital and two later arrived by private means.
2:30 a.m. July 5 – A short distance from the first night’s fatal shooting, a 22-year-old man and 23-year-old woman were shot on the corner of Euclid Ave. near Sutter Ave., police said. The man was shot in the chest and the woman was wounded in the right leg Both victims were taken to Brookdale University Hospital and were in stable condition, police say.
4 a.m. — Three people were shot in front of 549 Academy St. in Inwood. Paramedics took the victims to Harlem Hospital, where they were all listed in stable condition with injuries not considered life-threatening.
6:05 a.m. – A 31-year-old man walking to get breakfast, told police that he was shot in the left thigh by an unknown gunman. He was treated at a St. Luke’s Medical Center.
7 a.m. — A 32-year-old man was shot in the leg at the Bushwick Houses located at 130 Moore St. in Brooklyn. Police believe he was involved in a dispute with a suspect, described as a Black man in his 20s wearing a white tank top and black pants. The gunman was seen fleeing inside a white BMW traveling southbound on Humboldt Street.
7:52 a.m. — Two senior men were stabbed at the 52nd Street-Lincoln Avenue station on the 7 line in Woodside, Queens. A suspect was taken into custody for questioning. Both victims are expected to survive.
Additional holiday violence
Other incidents included a man driving a stolen Jeep Cherokee in Brooklyn in Flatlands, Brooklyn, slammed into a row of parked cars, causing the vehicle he was driving to overturn on East 48th Street and Avenue K.
Cops from the 63rd Precinct said the driver fled the scene and the car was reported stolen. ESU uprighted the vehicle and it was taken for further investigation.
A witness at the scene said they had been seeking a speed bump at that corner because many children play in that area. Children playing nearby were nearly struck by one of the vehicles pushed up onto the sidewalk.
There were also several assaults on Coney Island Beach yesterday, including a woman beaten at West 10th Street near the waterline.
Police from the 60th Precinct were there quickly to assist the woman who was taken to Coney Island Hospital. The female suspect fled the scene. The victim was said to have been drinking.