‘It’s Crazy Out Here’: Community Leaders, Activists Call for End to Gun Violence After Deadly Weekend in NYC

After a dramatic weekend of gun violence in New York City that left three people dead and 16 others wounded, community leaders are calling on Mayor de Blasio to step up and crack down on shootings plaguing the city's streets. The mayor responded Sunday night, saying the NYPD would beef up patrols in high crime neighborhoods.

Nearly 20 people were shot in seven shootings since Friday. Two people were killed and 11 wounded on Sunday. On Saturday, one person was killed and five others were wounded in gun violence.

A 24-year-old man was killed in a shooting in Canarsie late Friday. Early Sunday, a 20-year-old man was shot to death in a playground in the Soundview section of the Bronx. A short time later on Sunday, a 46-year-old man was killed in Fort Greene. And then in East New York, nine people were shot at a family house party.

Late Sunday afternoon, community leaders demanded de Blasio do more to end the violence. At a Brooklyn Borough Hall rally, Tony Herbert, a community advocate, said that de Blasio has ignored his coalition of parents and clergy, who want to put thousands of volunteers in neighborhoods where violence is prevalent to mentor at-risk young people.

"Where's our mayor?" Herbert, a community advocate, said at Brooklyn Borough Hall. "Why are you not out here denouncing what's going on in our community. We've been fighting for an opportunity to sit down with you to give you a plan, so that you can actually act with us on this."

Community leaders say they would specifically like the city to use emergency funds to finance the many organizations out in the neighborhoods trying to end the violence.

"NYC is in crisis due to gun violence," Herbert said.

Tommy Holliday, who says he works with Herbert, said Sunday that the NYPD shouldn't have gotten rid of the stop-and-frisk police tactic.

"Police should have kept stop-and-frisk, because it's crazy out here," Holliday said. "They should bring it back because it's getting worse and worse." 

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said Sunday evening that he's launching a week-long gun violence awareness campaign. An open casket and provocative imagery will be placed outside Borough Hall as part of the campaign, his office said.

Councilman Jumaane D. Williams, a Democrat represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, was with anti-gun violence advocates at a vigil in Canarsie Sunday evening for Donnell Smith, who was killed in a shooting there Friday. Smith's family was expected to be at the vigil.

In a statement Sunday, de Blasio's press secretary, Karen Hinton, said that the mayor and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton are adding officers to high crime areas as part of the summer's "All Out" effort, including the precincts where this weekend's shootings occurred.

"The mayor takes very seriously each incident and has directed NYPD to beef up its presence in these areas," Hinton said. "Overall crime is going down, but Mayor de Blasio will continue to be diligent about preventing crime and locking up criminals."

On a radio show Sunday, Bratton said that overall crime is down in the city.

"The state of the city is actually very good," Bratton said. "Crime numbers are looking good overall. We've had an overall decrease of five to six percent in crime." 

But according to NYPD crime statistics, before Sunday's party shooting there was a 120 percent increase in shooting victims in the 75th precinct, which covers East New York, compared to last year.

The nine people who were shot in East New York are expected to survive their injuries.

Gunfire erupted just after 2 a.m. Sunday in East New York at an all-day party at a house near the intersection of Stanley Avenue and Crescent Street.

At least 13 people were taken to area hospitals, according to a spokesperson at the Fire Department of New York. Those who weren't shot were being treated for cuts and bruises.

"They like to throw parties, there's nothing wrong with that," one neighbor said. "Except sometimes they allow other people off the street to come in, and the problem with that is you don't know what they're bringing with them."

There was no information about a motive for the shootings and the shooter or shooters were still on the loose. Police found a BMW sedan with the rear door open and what appeared to be bloody hand prints on the car's grill.

Around the same time, police responded to a report of a shooting in Fort Greene and found the body of a 46-year-old man in a courtyard across from the Walt Whitman Houses on North Oxford Walk.

The victim, whose identity wasn't disclosed by police, had sustained multiple gunshot wounds.

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