Upper Manhattan saw mayhem Tuesday after three shootings in five hours which police believe are all connected.
“We’ve had three shooting incidents in the Northern part of Manhattan,” Chief of Patrol John Chell said during a press conference in the late afternoon. “Right now, we are proceeding like they’re all connected. Why do I say that? Proximity, geography, around schools, age of victims and now we confirmed at least one incident. This incident here is gang motivated.”
West 68th Street and Amsterdam Avenue
The spate of gun violence erupted at approximately 9:40 a.m. on March 14, when police received a report of a 17-year-old boy who was shot several times in the abdomen on March 14 near a coffee shop at 170 Amsterdam Ave.
According to police, there was an altercation between a group of four to five teenage boys, during which an individual brandished a gun and shot a 17-year-old boy in the stomach several times. The teen ran back toward his high school, Martin Luther King High School on 68th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, where school staff called 911.
Chief Chell thanked New Yorkers for their calls and descriptions of the perpetrators. The 19-year-old gunman was nabbed by police in the back of a taxi on 65th Street and West End Avenue. A handgun was also recovered from the suspect.
Chell told amNewYork Metro that the 19-year-old suspect is known to police with three prior arrests for narcotic sales in 2023 and is indicted for an armed robbery with a firearm in 2021. Chell adds that the alleged suspect is currently out on bail in that case.
Sources familiar with the investigation said that local firefighters helped transfer the victim to EMS, where they rushed him to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The boy is reported to be in critical, but stable condition.
129th Street and Madison Avenue
Another incident occurred three hours later, at around 12:50 p.m., where police received a report of two people shot on 129th Street and Madison Avenue.
According to police, several students leaving Renaissance High School on 128th Street and Madison Avenue were approached by at least three males. A physical altercation ensued, and shots were fired, during which a 16-year-old boy was in the leg; police believe he was the intended target.
Law enforcement sources said a second individual, a 27-year-old male, was hit in the leg with a stray bullet.
Both were taken to a nearby hospital.
The suspects fled the scene on foot down 127th Street and are each described as wearing dark clothing.
Police sources say they are looking for the gunmen who are wearing black clothing. No arrests have been made.
104th Street and Park Avenue
Then, amid the aftermath of those shootings, there was still another.
At approximately 2:55 p.m. Tuesday, police confirmed that another set of shots were fired on 104 Street and Park Ave, where investigators recovered 4 shell casings.
Police announced a level 2 mobilization, calling in an abundance of resources–transit, housing, school safety division and more–from other boroughs to aid in the investigation.
Chell confirmed the police believe all three incidents are gang related. However, he added police are not revealing the responsible parties at this time.
“Right now, in the city of New York we have a level two immobilization. We’ll be calling in multiple resources from other boroughs, Transit housing, our school safety division, and we’re deploying to areas that best we know to slow this down. This surge is level two mobilization will continue tonight, and we’ll go into the school arrival and dismissal tomorrow,” Chell said.
Police state the areas in Upper Manhattan witnessed an increase in police resources during this level 2 mobilization, especially around school areas.
Anyone with information regarding any of the shootings can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.