NYC SHOOTINGS: Shea urges courts to get tougher as seven more shot overnight

A 24-year-old man identified Elijah Mims was shot and killed leaving a late morning party on Madison Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn Sunday morning. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

Seven people were shot overnight in four of five boroughs, with one of those wounded is life-threatening, police officials said.

The latest shootings come as 29 people were shot over the weekend, not including the four who were shot early this morning, officials said. There were more than 50 shootings during the past week, officials say.

Commissioner Dermot Shea said in an interview on NY1 that shootings were “far beyond what we had last year.” He also worried that robberies were up, but also said gun arrests were also rising, but “we need to pick it up, there is never enough – detectives are out there working round the clock.”

Shea said there are many reasons for the rise in shootings, but he pointed to the arrest of a man for an attempted rape on the subway platform as a case in point. He said Jose Reyes, a Bronx resident, had “15 priors in transit alone.” Shea maintained that many of those committing crimes in the city now are “repeat offenders,” and “career criminals.”

“When you quote arrest statistics, these do not include arrests that are sealed – so when  you have someone with 15, 20 or even 25 arrests, it might be double because the arrests were disposed or sealed by the criminal justice system.”

Commissioner Dermot Shea spoke of healing at the House of the Lord Church in July. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

Shea said he is in talks with elected officials and policymakers and he called them “part of the solution.”

“We need to step back and see where are,” Shea said. “We are cycling individuals and many of these people have mental illness, commit low-level crimes and meanwhile, the people suffering are people walking around on streets.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said during his morning press conference that he recognized that mental illness is a big factor in criminality, but he said the solutions were beyond the city’s ability to deal with that alone and looks towards the state and a “national solution” to dealing with mental health.

“Historically and unfortunately, this country for decades has had no criminal justice strategy as jails became places to for people with mental health challenges so people sent to there (jail)  doesn’t make sense,” Mayor de Blasio said. The reforms in criminal justice go a long way but the point is we really have to have a full mental health strategy – not just the state, but on a national level as both mental and physical health need to be on the same standing so people don’t end up incarcerated in the first place. To address this is far beyond what we can do.”

Shea also took issue with claims that there has been a slow down in response times to crimes.

“This question has come up before and this is about the math and it’s not complicated,” Shea said. “On June 30, leading up to this, there was defunding of police when crime was rising – we had a 60 percent cut in overtime and this was hundreds of millions of dollars taking cops off streets so there are thousands less police officers. It’s like having a fire raging in building, but then like shutting the hose off as firefighters are fighting the fire. So taking cops off the street when we have the fewest criminals in jails – what do you expect to happen?”

The mayor also defended the NYPD saying that fewer officers, lack of overtime have an impact, but should not paint a perception of cops not doing their jobs.

“The violence so painful – Chirlane and I spent time with the mother and grandmother of Davell Gardner Jr. (1-year-old shot dead in July), and we are feeling violence deeply,” the mayor said. “I don’t think the perception is what you think it is – the political class and media, perception is prominent, but people are experiencing the work of NYPD in a different reality. In June the budget had fewer police and less overtime and New Yorker’s can count. If there are fewer cops and less overtime there will be challenges. Everything in disarray so we must build it back with the cooperation with community members coming up.”

Shootings overnight

Aug. 30, 4 p.m. – A 24-year-old man was shot in the arm on East 92nd Street between Avenue M and L. Police from the 69th Precinct believe the shooting is the result of a long-running dispute and is under investigation by detectives.

The victim was treated at Brookdale Hospital for his wound.

Aug. 30, 9:50 p.m. – A 33-year-old man was shot in the left ankle in front of 456 Dekalb Avenue near Kent Avenue in Williamsburg. Police from the 79th Precinct say the victim walked into Brooklyn Hospital and was treated for his wound.

The victim told police he heard shots and then realized he had been hit. No suspects or motive have been revealed at this time.

Aug. 30, 11:40 p.m. – A 39-year-old man was shot in the back in front of  89-26 85th Avenue in South Ozone Park, Queens. Police from the 102nd Precinct say three men approached the man and one shot him in the ankle after a dispute.

He was taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition. There was no further information on the attackers.

Aug. 31, 12 a.m. – A 39-year-old man arrived at Harlem Hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. Police from the 32nd Precinct say the victim was apparently shot at 217 West 127th Street in Harlem by an unknown person – the victim was uncooperative.

Aug. 31, 12:50 a.m. –  A 28-year-old man was shot in the stomach in front of 437 Mother Gaston Blvd in Brownsville Brooklyn. Police from the 73rd Precinct said the victim told them he heard shot and realized he had been shot.

He was taken to Brookdale Hospital in stable condition. 

Aug. 31, 1:20 a.m. – A man was found with a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head in front of 419 East 137th Street in South Bronx. He was said to be in very critical condition at Lincoln Hospital. A gun was found at the scene.

Aug. 31, 6 a.m. – A man in his 30’s was shot in the foot at the corner of Broadway and West 46th Street after being involved in a violent dispute with a group at that location.

The man was taken to Bellevue Hospital where police from the 18th Precinct say he has been “uncooperative.” However, officials say there is a significant video of the incident and expect to make an arrest soon.

There were also reports of shootings in other parts of the city, but no people shot at this time. Several people showed at hospitals yesterday that had not previously reported being shot.

On Sunday, groups in Brooklyn’s Save Our Streets group — led by elected officials — marched through Flatbush to call on people to put their guns down. John Williams of the 67th Precinct Community Council said there were 12 people shot in Flatbush alone in a week.

A march for peace was held at the entrance to Prospect Park south east after passing by areas where shootings had occurred. Elected officials joined the march. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

Anyone with information in regard to any of these shootings is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential.