MOTT HAVEN, the Bronx — New York City has a problem.
Teens battled it out on New York City streets with guns during a disturbing spike in shootings as part of a gang war, high-ranking NYPD officers said.
Police sources said Elliot’s death was retaliation for the murder of a 19-year-old just days before. Elliot was targeted, shot several times, and stumbled into a cafe seeking help.
Detectives said they believe the shooting death of 16-year-old Ramon Gil-Medrano, who was shot in the back of a livery cab just hours after Elliot’s death, was retaliation for that fatal shooting.
These types of connected shootings prompted high-ranking police sources to describe at least a portion of the current gun violence crisis in the city as a “gang war.”
It’s commanding attention from the NYPD and community members, though many argue it’s not enough.
“This is really bothering me with these kids. This is what keeps me up — it kept me up last night,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on NY1. “What are we going to do about this? And I think everyone should be talking about it.”
People were talking about it Tuesday; the mayor was asked about it during a press conference.
“We’ve got so much more more we’ve got to do here,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a question and answer session following remarks to the media Tuesday.
He said there’s work the NYPD can do, though he commended the commissioner for his attention to the issue, and his goals to prevent these deadly situations before they happen.
“I share this outrage. We can’t see anything involving guns go unaddressed,” he said. “We need help from the federal government. We need help from the state government. We’re losing young people. And we shouldn’t be losing these young people.
The city is seeing a level of gun violence in the Bronx not seen since 1996, the commissioner said. He cited the broken court system leaving these young people vulnerable on the streets.
“Is it COVID or is it incompetence?” asked said.
As of Tuesday evening, no arrests had been made in connection to the shootings.