NBC 4 New York
For the most part, the West Indian Day Parade was peaceful -- but then things took a dramatic and bloody turn. Marc Santia has more.
Two people were killed in separate stabbing incidents and two people were shot in Brooklyn Monday evening as the West Indian Day Parade wound down, police say.
Despite getting off to a relatively peaceful start, the end of New York City's largest parade saw a sudden spate of violence around the route in Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant.
A 27-year-old man was stabbed in the neck at Eastern Parkway and Bedford Avenue at about 6 p.m. and a 26-year-old man was stabbed in the neck in front of 1394 St. John's Place, police said. Both victims were each transported to Kings County Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
The stabbings appeared to be unrelated. One person was taken into custody at the scene of the stabbing at St. John's Place. The victim in that stabbing has been identified Leandre Mallinckrodt.
Shortly after the stabbings, a man was shot in the arm and a woman was shot in the leg at 650 Eastern Parkway. The victims, both in their 20s, were taken to Kings County in serious but stable condition.
Later, two people sustained minor injuries at 327 Eastern Pkwy. The nature of their injuries were unclear.
Police are investigating.
Deborah Harris was running a food stand was near Bedford Avenue when a melee sent dozens of parade-goers running to avoid the flying bottles and fists. When the panicked crowd ran right past Harris, she said, "All I wanted to do is get down."
"I didn't know if there was shooting or something, and I didn't want to get shot, so I got down," she said.
NYPD showed heavy presence at the parade Monday after Police Commissioner Ray Kelly promised a plan "to have a peaceful event" following years of violence at the parade.
But Harris and other West Indian Day Parade veterans say they know firsthand how the celebration can quickly become chaotic. In 2011, several people were shot and killed during the weekend-long celebration, and in 2007, there was a shooting near the parade route.