NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Overall crime in New York City is up more than 13% over last January with shootings in particular on the rise.
While some city officials claim New York is safer than it’s ever been, many residents say that’s not what they see in their own neighborhoods.
On Monday night, CBS2’s very own Ali Bauman was caught in the crossfire of one shooting. She and the crew are all safe, but they have a firsthand account of experiencing this growing fear in the city.
Bauman was working but didn’t have an assignment, so she, photographer Basche Warner and photographer Eric Anderson parked their news truck in Brooklyn around 8 p.m. to be on standby in case there was breaking news.
Warner, Anderson and Bauman had only been parked on Willoughby Street off Flatbush Avenue Extension for a few minutes.
“I was sitting here scrolling on my phone, then I heard a big bang right by this window,” Bauman said.
A man and a woman were scuffling in the street.
“They moved to the center of the truck. The woman had a gun right at his chest, pointed at his face, which is when we both said, that can’t be a gun, that can’t really be happening right in front of us,” Anderson said.
“She pulls back and that’s all we hear, pop,” Warner said.
A third person appeared from around the corner.
“And I saw him pull a gun,” Anderson said. “Then he fired three shots right over the front of the truck in my direction, then I guess she went around the other side of the truck and he fired two shots down that way.”
“It’s almost like if you move, you know you’re gonna be next,” Warner said.
There’s nothing particularly remarkable about this shooting. In fact, it didn’t even make news in New York City. But they’re becoming more common.
“I got this business, up-and-coming area,” Fort Greene resident Ray deJean said. “But in the last three months, there was a couple shootings.”
Shootings were up 3% citywide in 2019 with more in Brooklyn than any other borough.
Bauman brought this to NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison and asked, “Why do you think it is that this is becoming more and more of a reality for a lot of New Yorkers, experiencing something like this?”
“This is why we do precision policing,” Harrison said. “We’re at all-time lows. Just take a look at the numbers compared to in the ’70s and ’80s and ’90s.”
Harrison says even though shootings were up last year, “Even last year was low in contrast to the ’80s and ’90s … It’s not as bad as it used to be and we’re doing a phenomenal job at keeping the city safe.”
Police responded to the scene within minutes. They found at least six shell casings around the truck and dusted the front hood for fingerprints.
“Fort Greene used to be pretty safe. I always felt safe and now I don’t,” Fort Greene resident Joanne Heath said.
Police have not made any arrests in this shooting but say citywide gun arrests were up 2% last year.