NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Four people were shot, two fatally, and two others were hurt after separate incidents early Monday morning at the J’ouvert celebration in Brooklyn.
Around 3:50 a.m. Monday, Tyreke Borel, 17, of Brooklyn, was shot in the chest outside a Wendy’s at Empire Boulevard and Flatbush Avenue and died at the hospital, police said.
A 66-year-old woman was hurt while dodging bullets at the same location and a 72-year-old woman was shot in the arm, CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported.
Police are not sure if the two shootings on Empire Boulevard are related, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported.
About 25 minutes later, police said a 22-year-old woman — identified as St. John’s University graduate Tiarah Poyau of Brooklyn — died after being shot in the face near Washington Avenue and Empire Boulevard.
Another woman was stabbed near Empire Boulevard and Ocean Avenue, but refused medical attention, Grymes reported. In another incident, a man was injured at Nostrand and Linden avenues.
Another man in his 20s was shot in the leg on Rogers and Clarkson Avenues and was taken to the hospital, where his condition was listed as stable.
Valerie Joseph, 62, was injured in one of the shootings. Her brother, Joseph Waterman, spoke to CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.
“They were just sitting there waiting, you know, sitting out having hamburgers, and some young kid decided to shoot randomly,” Waterman said.
Margaret Peters Clark, the 72-year-old woman who was wounded, was sitting on a bench outside the Wendy’s on when she was struck by a stray bullet, CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported.
“All of a sudden was a ‘bam,’ and people start running,” Clark said.
The bullet went through the Trinidad and Tobago native’s hand and shoulder.
“I was in shock when I saw the blood just spilling out of my hand and shoulder,” Clark said.
Clark said she did not think J’ouvert should be ended.
“No, the people that participate in it or not the people that is doing the wrong thing,” she said.
But Clark said even though she has marched in the parade before, she might not attend again.
The bloodshed came as the NYPD beefed up security for the event, which has been marred by violence in the past. The NYPD doubled the amount of police officers in the street, and increased the number of floodlights from 40 to 200, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported.
“Unfortunately there are some criminals who, despite our society and our best effort to control behavior, insist on breaking the law,” said police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
Despite the defenses from its many fans, the deadly event has revived debate over canceling the J’ouvert festival, and possibly adding the screening of parade spectators like New Year’s Eve revelers in Times Square.
“I don’t want to offer an off-the-cuff opinion. It is important that there be a very careful after-action review done by the NYPD, and that we work with the community leaders who put a lot of time and energy into this in the last year, and we think this stuff through carefully,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “So there will be a thorough review. All options on the table, and we’ll come back with a vision for the future.
People at the West Indian Day parade that followed during the day said the majority celebrate peacefully, and they should not be penalized by the bad behavior of a few.
“A lot of people say, ‘Stop, it stop it,’ but it’s not the people who are having a good time,” Waterman said. “It’s actually the young kids that know nothing about what’s going on.”
“I think in some ways, the cruelest situation is when you can predict the violence and you can predict the death, and you still can’t do anything about it, and I hope this is a wake-up call,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at the parade.
As the parade celebrating Caribbean culture, revelers looked to highlight the beauty that the parade has to offer.
“As long as everything stays calm and there’s no shooting and killing,” Pearlie Trent, of Crown Heights, said. “It’s a great opportunity not just the Caribbean cultures but all people to come together.”
“It’s like the end of summer,” one person said. “You dance, laugh, eat, drink — great festivity.”
But safety has been a huge concern after past violence, including the murder of Carey Gabay, an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Police say he was caught in the crossfire of a gang shootout after J’ouvert festivities last year.
Fliers distributed by police in conjunction with community groups ahead of the festivities reminded the public that two people were killed last year during J’ouvert.
It read in part: “This community will no longer tolerate this violence. Do not shoot anyone. Do not stab anyone.”
The investigations into Monday’s incidents are still ongoing. So far, no arrests have been made.