While Mayor Eric Adams and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell are boasting about a decrease in shootings, the city this week looked like “the wild, wild west”.
According to the NYPD’s most recent statistics, citywide shootings this year were down 12.6% and the number of victims decreased by 11.7% as of Sunday, compared last year’s numbers.
But last week, the numbers of incidents and victims spiked upward by 16.7% and 13.9%, respectively.
On Tuesday, 16 people were struck by bullets — including two separate incidents in which four people were shot — and on Wednesday there were an additional seven people shot, including a 17-year-old girl who was fatally shot in the face in Brooklyn.
On Thursday, a broad-daylight gun battle erupted in Harlem around 11:35 a.m., with two men shot — and one believed to be an innocent bystander, law-enforcement sources said.
“It’s like the Wild, Wild West,” a disgusted cop said.
While the temperature drops the lead is really hot.
John Jay professor Joseph Giacalone, a former NYPD sergeant, said he was baffled by the increased gunplay “because we already went through the hottest part of the year.”
“Now the cool temperatures are here and it seems like everybody’s lost their minds,” he said.
“This is why I always say, I always tell the politicians: Don’t declare victory on crime in August or September because you have three months left.”
Another John Jay prof, former NYPD cop and Brooklyn prosecutor Eugene O’Donnell, called it “distressing” that spikes in shootings were “no longer confined to summer.”
“As we enter the fall, 16 people were shot in a day. You know, there are countries that don’t have 16 people shot in a year,” he said.
In a prepared statement, City Hall said, “Mayor Adams has been clear that public safety is his top propriety and we must dam all the rivers that feed the sea of gun violence.”
“The administration is already making progress in driving down gun violence, leading to double-digit decreases in shootings and homicides year to date,” the statement said.
However, that was then. The spike in shootings this week does not appear to be a random spike.
As Professor O’Donnell put it, there seemed to be “a casualness to these shootings…they’re not even like purposeful shootings.”
Separately, I want to offer my condolences to the family of murdered FDNY EMT Lt. Alison Russo-Elling, who was stabbed to death in Astoria on Thursday while getting food.
The family is in my prayers.