NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City’s gun violence continued Monday, with six people shot in just one hour in Brooklyn.
The spike in violence is prompting more calls for action from community leaders.
“So much pain is being caused, so much fear, because of this spate of shootings. We have to find a way to beat it, and we do that bringing police and community together in common cause. That’s what’s always worked,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during Tuesday’s press briefing. “We’ve got to think of this as human beings. We’ve got to think of this as people — New Yorkers — committed to the same thing.
“We need safety for our people. We need peace in our communities,” he added.
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The NYPD reported 14 shootings with 18 victims across the city Monday.
Clergy and community activists, like Tony Herbert, called out the mayor Tuesday, warning that signing more police reforms will jeopardize the safety of residents.
“What we’re saying out here clearly is that we need these police on the street. We need to have that Anti-Crime Unit — a modernized version, with some monitoring to take place. But we need their intel so we can get these guns off the street,” Herbert said. “Today, the gloves come off. To this mayor, and I’ll say it again, what’s happening in New York City … the blood is on your hands.
“What happened to that 1-year-old, and for you to go there and cry fake crocodile tears to say that you had that family’s back, and you’re allowing these progressive protesters to destroy our city — you’re at fault,” he added.
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Investigators believe a group of suspects opened fire on three different blocks in Canarsie before abandoning their car at around 6:30 p.m. Monday outside a motel on Conduit Boulevard.
“We had one female, 23 years old, that was shot four times in the chest…. Ten minutes later at 6:31 2105 Rockaway Parkway, we had three males shot… Two minutes later right behind me at 6:33 p.m., we had one male being accompanied by female that was on scooter that was shot one time in his back,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison told reporters.
A short time later, a sixth person was shot only blocks away.
Neighbor Pauline Sinclair told CBS2’s John Dias she’s scared to walk with her grandchildren, even in daylight.
“I’m afraid for their safety. I’m taking them to school now. Anything could happen,” she said.
Isaac Benezra said he’s lived in the neighborhood for more than 50 years and feels the city is changing for the worst.
“As the sun goes down, the thieves and the thugs come out… They think they can run the city, and cops are scared to react,” he said. “They stopped the Anti-Crime, and that’s what kept the guns off the streets. Look what’s happening all over.”
Monday’s shooting spree came less than 24 hours after 1-year-old Davell Gardner Jr. was shot and killed Sunday in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The little boy was sitting in a stroller outside a playground, where his family was having a barbecue.
“Shaking, I couldn’t touch him, blood everywhere,” said his uncle, E. Ross.
The child’s uncle drove him to the hospital, cradled in his mother’s arms.
“Took all the lights. I feel bad, like I didn’t get there fast enough,” Ross said. “I really tried my best to get him there as fast as possible.”
Three other people were injured in the shooting. Police have not made any arrests.
On Monday night, the mayor visited the grieving family.
“Just the pain, the grief they were feeling losing a 1-year-old playing on the playground — there one moment, gone the next — and the shock that they are feeling. It’s just a deep well of pain. You could see it in their eyes,” he said Tuesday. “No parent, no family should ever have to go through that.”
Shootings were up 277% last week, compared to the same time last year — with 60 victims, compared to 17.