NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A drive-by shooting in Queens on Wednesday night left three people injured, including a child.
The 8-year-old boy is one of the latest victims of gun violence in New York City, which is on the rise. But as CBS2’s John Dias reported Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio is hopeful things will start to turn around soon.READ MORE: Family Members, Friends Of Shalimar Birkett, Killed By Stray Bullet At Vigil In Brooklyn, Sound Alarm: 'We Need The Police Department'
A kid’s bike and scooter laid on the sidewalk next to a mini-van, which was riddled with bullet holes. It was the aftermath of a close call after gun shots echoed loud on 178th Street in St. Albans, Queens around 10 p.m.
Witnesses said they heard many go off.
“About eight or nine,” one person said. “It’s scary. It’s scary.”
Police said one of those bullets grazed a bystander and another hit an 8-year-old boy in his shoulder. His injuries are serious and he’s in the hospital. But he is expected to be OK.
CBS2’s Lisa Rozner spoke with the woman who may have saved the boy’s life. She said the 8-year-old ran into her home after he was shot.
“He had blood all over his shoulder,” she said. “‘Please, help me!’ I gave him a towel, wrap it around, you know, where it was wound, and we called 911.”
“I’m just tired of seeing what is going on,” she continued. “After pandemic, where you could not be seen outside, and these little kids can’t even play?”
Another woman was inside after just picking up her 6-year-old grandson, who was playing with the group.
“I thought, that’s the firecrackers,” said Vilia Nevil. “And then we saw the car coming up… and it just, zoom.”
Investigators said the boy’s 39-year-old father, who was also shot, was the intended target. Sources told CBS2 he’s a gang member, has been arrested multiple times, and survived two other shootings.
“It’s just out of control,” said Robert Wells, a St. Albans resident.READ MORE: Caught On Video: Man Shot During Robbery In Queens Mall Parking Lot
“I tell my wife, when you go out, you just pray to God, because anytime you turn on TV, people shot,” said Jacques Monteau, who said he has lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years.
Monteau said he knows of at least three other fatal shootings that have happened in the immediate area, adding he doesn’t see the neighborhood or city getting better anytime soon.
“It don’t look too good. God is good. Maybe he change, but doesn’t look too good,” Monteau said.
The city is on pace for the highest number of shootings at this point in a year in a decade.
“Leaders need to step up and do something about it, change the outcome around the neighborhood,” resident David Martin said.
According to the NYPD‘s latest statistics, shooting victims are up more than 78% — 552 this year compared to 309 at this time in 2020. That’s an increase of more than 118% compared to two years ago.
Still, de Blasio remains optimistic.
“It is something that came from a global pandemic and a perfect storm last year, and we are going to turn it around,” the mayor said. “We gotta keep deepening the bond between police and community.”
Back in Queens, police have yet to make any arrests in Wednesday night’s shooting. They said they are looking for multiple people.
Witnesses said they saw the suspects drove off in a dark-colored sedan with tinted windows.MORE NEWS: 80-Year-Old Man Struck By Stray Bullet In South Bronx
CBS2’s John Dias contributed to this report.