NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One disturbing trend in the Big Apple from last year has tragically carried over into 2021.
The new year started with several shootings, including one in Brooklyn just after midnight, CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reported Friday.
Seven minutes into 2021, a shot pierced through a second-floor window in East New York and police said it hit a 33-year-old woman in the leg. Her downstairs neighbor, still in shock over what happened, didn’t want to show her face on camera.
“She said she was in the room, and it came through the window and shot her in the foot,” a woman named Erma said.
Just next door along Lincoln Avenue, a stray bullet left a hole in a bedroom.
“I went to the room and my dad’s roof is on fire,” one person said. “It was smoking. It was coming out smoke from the roof, from the hole that it made,” neighbor Maria Soto said.
The bullet landed on the floor. They picked it up, and took a photo in disbelief. Soto said she was thankful it wasn’t worse.
“My dad could have died yesterday over some stupid people out here,” Soto said.
For now, the shots are believed to have come from an apartment building just across the street. Neighbors told Rincon it may have been part of New Year’s celebrations.
Meanwhile, just an hour into the new year, celebrations turned deadly at the Umbrella Hotel in Kew Gardens, Queens.
“Multiple gun shots in the middle of the night and it woke me right out of my sleep. You can tell they were firing back and forth at each other,” resident Vincent Panico said.
Neighbors told CBS2’s John Dias the hotel is to blame.
“There’s been prostitution at this hotel, there’s been multiple violent incidents at this hotel,” said Douglas Shapiro. “It’s long overdue that this hotel should have been closed.”
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards also called for the hotel to be shut down.
“Today’s fatal shooting at the Umbrella Hotel near Queens Borough Hall was a sad and troubling way to start the New Year,” he said in a statement. “Whoever is responsible for this heinous crime must swiftly be brought to justice. It is also time for the Umbrella Hotel, which has already been cited for numerous public safety violations, to be shut down. This hotel is a public nuisance that has no place in Kew Gardens or anywhere in our Borough or City. The hotel’s guests and residents of the surrounding community should not be subjected to its dangerous conditions.”
Police believe two groups of men, possibly at a party, got into a shootout leaving a 20-year-old man dead, and two others critically injured.
“I hope this is not a sign of what’s to come,” one woman said, adding that 2021, “was supposed to be like we turned the page.”
“It’s a shame we had to start the year off this way,” another person said.
Police said in less than two hours into the new year a total of eight people were shot, in six different shootings.
Last year, New York City saw shooting incidents increase by more than 97%. Many now fear it will be a new year with the same violence.
“After the year we had, you would think peace, love,” a woman said.
Police ask anyone with information about the shootings to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.
CBS2’s Kevin Rincon and John Dias contributed to this report
MORE FROM CBS NEW YORK