Another wave of holiday weekend violence struck New York City, with at least 21 people shot and three killed in more than a dozen incidents Monday - and the violence continued into the wee hours of Tuesday as well.
After a terrible start to the year, the city's gun problem has improved, and shooting incidents for the first half of 2022 were actually down 12% versus 2021. But abrupt spasms of violence, particularly over weekends, still plague the five boroughs.
The first fatal shooting happened at 11:30 p.m. Monday at a deli in East New York. The circumstances of the dispute are not yet clear, but two men, 21 and 23, are dead, and a third, 18, is in critical condition at Brookdale. A suspect is in custody.
At almost the same moment, in the Bronx, three people were shot on Prospect Avenue in the Belmont section. A 62-year-old man is dead, and two other men, 23 and 26, are stable at St. Barnabas.
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But those were only the fatal incidents. In total, from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on July 4, 21 people were shot in 14 separate incidents in the city, two senior police officials tell News 4.
And then after midnight, there were at least two more shootings, in Norwood (a man shot in the shoulder) and Morrisania (a man shot in the chest).
Asked Tuesday whether he believed his administration's plan to combat the scourge of gun violence is working in light of the recent shootings, Mayor Eric Adams acknowledged crime is a top issue on the minds of New Yorkers right now.
Despite the violence, Adams said his crime strategy is working.
"Since we instituted our plan, we are seeing a decrease in shootings … decrease in homicides," he said. "We’re seeing a 30 year high in gun arrests."
However, he knows that violence is weighing heavy on the minds of New Yorkers.
“Our plan which we’re constantly modifying … constantly shifting … is moving in the direction we want it to move into. Is it moving as fast as I want? I want it faster. I’m like NYers…I want results overnight," Adams said.
The gun violence in New York City follows the Illinois July 4th parade shooting that took six lives, as well as a shooting at a Philadelphia July 4th event that left two cops wounded and sent people scrambling for cover.
"It is overshadowing all that we're doing. New Yorkers will feel like we're not making progress, which we are. We are decreasing in shootings for the last 11 or 12 weeks, since we instituted our plan," Adams said. "Is it moving fast enough? No, I want it faster. We're moving in the right direction. We need help, I can't say this enough, we need help. If we arrest them on Monday and they’re out on Tuesday, it's endless."
"We saw what happened in Chicago ... outside the city of Chicago," Adams added. "This national problem is played out on our streets. We're moving in the right direction, we're going to win that battle."
The Democrat and New York State Attorney General Letitia James took more action on that front last week and filed lawsuits against multiple online gun distributors.
-- With reporting by Myles Miller