NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A brazen double murder in broad daylight in Brooklyn is one of the latest in a rash of shootings plaguing the city this summer.
New York City police officers are trying to push back on a rash of shootings heating up on this summer weekend.
There had been at least 58 shootings in New York City in the last seven days before this weekend, according to the NYPD.
Nineteen-year-old Erica Lopez died after being shot in the chest just after midnight Friday near Madison Square Park.
It’s been an emotional few days for the victim’s best friend, Alma Corona.
“She is beautiful inside and out, responsible, caring,” Corona told CBS2’s Cory James.
Authorities say Lopez was with a 21-year-old man who was also hit by a bullet.
Corona says the man told family and friends while in the hospital that Lopez pushed him out of the way when they heard the gun fire.
“She took a bullet for him,” Corona said. “She died a hero.”
NYPD investigators say they have arrested 27-year-old Rudy Osias for the shooting.
In the end, Rene Sotos, a friend of Lopez’s, says something needs to change because too many people are being lost to gun violence.
“These beautiful people are being taken away from us, and I think we should stop it,” Sotos said.
A double murder in East New York featured a gunman brazen enough to start shooting in daylight midday Saturday on Van Siclen Avenue.
A 23-year-old man was shot in the face, and a 39-year-old woman was shot in the back.
Just before 1 a.m. Saturday, a 20-year-old man was shot in the leg on a field in Central Park. He is expected to survive.
A short time later, police arrested a suspect at the corner of East 67th Street and Fifth Avenue.
Another shooting Saturday happened around 8 a.m. inside a housing development steps away from Lincoln Center.
A 26-year-old man was shot in the back and leg inside the building’s hallway on West 62nd Street near Amsterdam Avenue, which is near where David Dean Bottrell lives.
“Nothing surprises me right now because at night, it’s kind of open season. This place is totally empty now. I mean, at night, especially, everything shut down early, people are like, people who might have stayed in one area, why should they? They can go anywhere right now,” he told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
Watch Dave Carlin’s report —
The Saturday incidents will add to some grim statistics.
Commissioner Dermot Shea says the city’s homicide rate has hit a five-year high and the amount of people shot so far this year has jumped 42% compared to the same period last year.
He said there were 100 shootings in the city in the month of May.
This is happening as city government debates whether to slash the department’s budget by up to $1 billion to reallocate funding to youth outreach and other education programs.
CBS2 asked Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer about it.
“There is no way to DA or police yourself out of this situation,” she said. “But to be able to do the prevention, which is what we’ve been talking about for years and years and years.”
Police now say they’ve made an arrest in a shooting that left a 7-year-old girl injured after she was grazed by a stray bullet in East Harlem on Thursday.
Police say she was not the intended target of the 16-year-old who is facing charges.