NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The number of shootings in New York City continues to go up.
And now CBS2 has learned that the total so far this year has surpassed the number of shootings in all of last year, and we still have five months to go.
Reporter Hazel Sanchez spoke to New Yorkers who are desperate for solutions to end the gun violence.
On Sunday afternoon, police collected ballistic evidence from a drive-by shooting on Longfellow Avenue in the South Bronx. A 27-year-old man was shot in the thigh.
A few hours earlier in the Weeksville section of Brooklyn a bullet grazed the head of a 16-year-old boy.
While both survived, the escalation of gun violence across New York City is unsettling for many like David Harden, who calls the South Bronx home.
“It’s very disturbing,” Harden said. “If somebody crosses them wrong — let’s say you bumped them by accident — they’re gonna shoot you. Because they can.”
When asked if she feels safe on the streets, fellow South Bronx resident Kyeshia Bridges said, “No. That’s why I stay in the house.”
The number of shootings in the five boroughs this year to date has now surpassed the total number of shootings in all of 2019, Sanchez reported.
Last year, there were 776 total shootings with 922 victims. Over the weekend, the 2020 total surpassed that, with at least 942 victims, including innocent children like 17-year-old Bronx basketball star Brandon Hendricks, who was killed by a stray bullet in June, and 1-year-old Davell Gardner, who was shot dead in his stroller last month.
Many are struggling to make sense of the shooting spike.
“Maybe it’s a part of the pandemic. Maybe it’s a part of homelessness. Maybe it’s a part of the aggravation. Jobless, frustration and anger,” one New Yorker said.
There were more than 37 shootings in the city over the July 4th weekend, including one on Sheffield Avenue in Brooklyn, where a 21-year-old man was shot. The gunman seen in newly released surveillance video is still at large.
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Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain, said many factors have led to the increase in gun violence, including the dismantling of the NYPD’s Anti-Crime Unit, the strained relationship with police and the community, and an issue with the number of handguns on the street.
He said he’d like to see the creation of a tri-state gun task force.
“We need to do more at our bus terminals, to do spot checks of the bags that are coming in. We need to do more, even at some of our bridges. People are bringing guns in,” Adams said.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez agrees, and said the community and police need to come together to hold the shooters accountable.
“We know that there are people in the community who know who’s committing the violence,” Gonzalez said.
“When a bullet leaves the barrel of a gun it does not discriminate, if it hits a police officer in a blue uniform or an everyday young person in blue jeans,” Adams added. “We need to come together. We need each other to make sure this city is safe.”
Police are still looking for the gunman in both of Sunday’s shootings. The victims are expected to make full recoveries.