NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Another murder in the Bronx, which now appears to be ground zero for gun violence in New York City, has Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams decrying a lack of leadership and demanding that Mayor Bill de Blasio leave Gracie Mansion and go to the borough to calm alarmed residents.
Police cars were patrolling the Morrisania section of the Bronx, where earlier Thursday a 25-year-old became the latest murder victim in one of the bloodiest summers police can remember.
The NYPD says the level of violence hasn’t been seen since the 1990s.
“I don’t feel safe and I grew up in Harlem during both the heroin and crack epidemics and I don’t feel safe,” teacher Allison Blount said.
Blount, who works at a local school, has experienced the gun violence there first hand.
“I ducked and took cover right here on the corner of College Avenue in front of the school, with young men running up the block shooting each other, running right past me,” Blount said.
The Bronx leads the city in gun violence. Shootings are up 64.8% so far this year, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
Two teenagers, including 13-year Jaryan Elliott, were shot and killed on Sunday, alone.
Police are now looking for a Honda Accord with orange stripes on the hood believed to be connected to Elliott’s killer.
The carnage prompted an angry response from Adams, who laid blame at de Blasio’s doorstep.
“The reason we’re watching a lot of these problems persist is because there’s the absence of real visible leadership in those communities,” Adams said. “We should be up in the Bronx right now telling these residents that they should feel safe in their communities. We had a 13-year-old assassinated. The mayor should go up there and show a real signal to residents that we’re not going to allow the Bronx to go backwards.”
When Kramer asked de Blasio about going to the terrified community, he offered no specifics.
“I will be spending time in the Bronx in the days ahead for sure, Marcia,” he said.
When asked when, the mayor said, “I definitely will be spending time in the Bronx soon.”
Adams said he has already spoken to the Bronx borough president and is going to the borough even though he is not the mayor.
“You can’t be a good shepherd if you’re not among the sheep,” Adams said.
Adams said if elected he’s not going to be a Manhattan-centric mayor, adding he’ll be in all the crevices of our communities so he can access the problems first hand.