BROOKLYN — Gunfire erupted and bullets flew again and again and again in Brooklyn over the last week, leaving more than a dozen injured.
On Saturday, a trio of men shot four people, including a teen, in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The next day, shortly before midnight, a 32-year-old man was shot in the leg at the Marcy Houses NYCHA complex in the same neighborhood. Another man fell as he ran away and injured his head.
Around 12:25 a.m. Monday, violence erupted at another Brooklyn public housing property. Eight people were shot at a party just outside the Eleanor Roosevelt Houses. About 150 young people were there for a music video shoot, parents told PIX11.
Two unidentified shooters opened fire on the crowd, wounding three men and five women, police said. One of the men was critically injured by a gunshot wound to the face.
Shortly after that, three teens in an SUV near the intersection of Atlantic and Schenck avenues in Cypress Hill were wounded when another vehicle pulled up next to them and someone opened fire.
A man opened fire on a group playing a game of dice outside a Brownsville deli on Tuesday night. Five men were injured.
Capt. Richard Muhammed, of veteran anti-violence organization Man Up, Inc., was worried about what’s next.
“Obviously there was a shooting last night. Anytime there’s a shooting, there’s a high probability that there’s gonna be a retaliation. That’s where we come in, he said. “There’s a three prong approach to crime. We have prevention, intervention, and suppression.”
He described suppression as the all too familiar approach of putting more cops on the street.
Despite the seeming spate of gun violence, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea told the PIX11 Morning News that be believes overall shootings in August will be down compared to the same period last year.
“You’re going to hear more about a gang takedown as we end this week,” the commissioner said of the NYPD’s overall efforts to curb shootings and violent crime. “Whether it’s deployment of uniformed resources, investigations on individual incidents, or the larger picture of gang takedowns, it’s all kinda coming together.”
Several of the shootings would be classified as mass shootings by the Gun Violence Archive.
Man Up, and other organizations like it, focus on prevention and intervention: boots on the ground, trying to discourage someone who wants to solve a beef with a bullet. When necessary, they act as violence interrupters.
“We see the uptick. We need all hands on deck. We need volunteers. Our young people are frustrated [because there’s] not a lot of resources,” Capt. Muhammed said. “But we are here to let them know – there’s some options. We have resources, which is jobs, there’s therapeutic services, whether it’s conflict resolution, or mediation.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that it’s a small number of people behind violence in the city.
“We also, every single day, are seeing extraordinary work to keep us all safe,” he said.
Much has been made of tens of millions of dollars in new state anti-violence funding announced early last month by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
But New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams says a new approach is needed in order to maximize the impact of those new anti-violence dollars.
“To be clear, a lot of the funding hasn’t hit yet, and it’s just beginning to hit,” he said. “There has to be accountability for shooting up a street, for shooting up a party. There has to accountability for that. But we also have to understand, the simple process of throwing as much law enforcement and imprisonment as possible – hasn’t worked previously. We just need political leadership with the courage to change the infrastructure the way they are. To have a real conversation about what makes a community safe; understand what law enforcement’s role is in that , and fund the other things that have been neglected for such a long time.”