‘Put your guns down, please’: Back-to-back shootings leave Harlem communities reeling

Manhattan

HARLEM, Manhattan — Harlem community members are reeling after back-to-back shootings rocked the area this week.

Early Wednesday morning, three men were gunned down in East Harlem. One of the victims, a 37-year-old, died.

Neighbors, including a mother who lost her teen daughter to gun violence, say the continued bloodshed is taking a toll on them.

Clergy members say it’s about time for Harlem to come together and end gun violence. They say it’s the responsibility of every community member.

“It’s a very dark time in New York in our poor neighborhoods,” said clergy member Oswald Denise, who prayed for peace.

At the scene of the latest shooting on East 126th Street, neighbors were distraught. 

The bloodshed has been going on for years, and the pain runs deep, especially after back-to-back shootings.

Laverne Roberts says walking by a memorial marking where Shanice Young — almost 9 months pregnant — was shot and killed over the weekend reminds her of the death of her own daughter.

“I’m walking by, I see the candles outside and said, ‘Oh my God,’” she told PIX11 on Wednesday. “I wouldn’t want nobody to walk a mile in my shoes; no day or whatever. I lost my daughter when she was 17.”

Roberts said her daughter was hit and killed by a stray bullet three years ago. Police arrested the suspected shooter, but Roberts said she will never be the same and the recent gun violence has her fearing for her own life.

“Put your guns down, please! You don’t want to be a mother like me going through this travesty,” she said. “I don’t know if I will make it back home tonight.”

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