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NYC sees upsurge in shootings in Brooklyn and Queens, NYPD says

The crest on the jacket of a New

The crest on the jacket of a New York City police officer while on patrol. Photo Credit: iStock

New York City has seen an upsurge in shootings in 2019, a trend running counter to the overall decrease in violent crimes, as officials develop strategies to deal with the gun violence that has hit innocent bystanders particularly hard in recent days.

Through June 30, the city saw shootings increase 7.1 percent to 361 from 337 in the same period in 2018, according to the latest NYPD data, many of them in Brooklyn and Queens.  The number of shooting victims increased slightly, to 414 from 411, statistics showed.

“Whether it is a gang investigation, a crew investigation, other methods of intervention, that is what we are looking at; the problem continues to be driven by gangs and crews,” Commissioner James O'Neill said Tuesday during a media briefing over Fourth of July security.

O’Neill made reference to a recent surveillance video depicting a young man firing wildly on a Brooklyn street. “You look at that and you think, ‘Why in God’s name did that young man do that?’ ” the commissioner said.

While shootings have risen, homicides have decreased 13.5 percent at the mid-year mark, to 135 from 156 in 2018, a pace that could result in a level of killings last seen in World War II, according to historical records.

Increases in shootings have hit areas of Brooklyn and Queens  The area of Queens North, which includes Forest Hills, Bayside, Flushing and Elmhurst, has seen a nearly 92 percent increase, to 23 shootings from 12 a year ago. North Brooklyn, which includes East New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, has witnessed a nearly 28 percent increase in shootings, to 101 from 79, statistics showed.

The increase in shootings comes as the summer months get into full swing, in contrast to a dramatic trend over the last three years in which gun violence declined by as much as 19 percent through the middle of the year. 

Chief of Department Terence Monahan noted that three Brooklyn North precincts — the 73, 75, 77 and 79 — account for 23 percent of all shootings to date and that gang arrests were imminent. Monahan said cops are making shooting arrests, particularly in cases of innocent bystanders being wounded. But he suggested that gun prosecutions in Brooklyn are not seeing swift resolutions with significant prison time.

“In Brooklyn, we need the prosecution of guns to be taken seriously,” said Monahan.

Last month, seven bystanders were reportedly hit by gunfire, mostly in the Bronx. Late Monday, a 13-year-old was shot by a schoolyard in the Bronx and was in stable condition, according to police. That victim may not have been an unintended target, said Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea.

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