New York's police commissioner says the shooting of an 8-year-old boy in the Bronx this week is "an unacceptable reality in the poorer neighborhoods'' of the city.
In a Daily News column on Thursday, Commissioner Raymond Kelly writes that 94 percent of all shooting victims last year were black or Hispanic.
He says they were often targeted by other youths or accidentally shot as in the case of little Armando Bigo on Tuesday, who was wounded as he stood inside a Bronx bodega with his mother.
The commissioner says in most cases the guns were purchased outside the state and then resold on the city's streets.
"Disputes that we resettled generations ago with fists are settled with guns, which were often manufactured before the shooters were born," Kelly wrote.
Bigo was standing inside the Papa Yala's Deli and Grocery in Soundview when he was shot in the shoulder by a passing bicyclist. Witnesses rushed to the injured boy's aid and helped him while they waited for the ambulance.
No arrests have been made in the drive-by shooting and the investigation is ongoing.
Kelly wrote innovative police strategies have brought crime down in the city, but the shooting of an 8-year-old is a reminder it's not always safe enough.
The police commissioner also pointed out three NYPD officers have been shot, one fatally, in the past two months confronting criminals with illegal handguns. And yet, Kelly wrote, "we won't be deterred."
"The NYPD is in it for the long haul, and we will continue to do all we can to keep New Yorkers as safe as possible wherever they live," the editorial said.