21 Hurt, 2 Killed in Weekend Gun Violence in NYC

Two people were killed and more than 20 others were injured in New York City over the weekend in a spate of gun violence that included eight shootings in less than eight hours, police say.

A total of 23 people were shot between early Saturday and the end of the day Sunday in 13 separate shootings, police say. Five of those shootings were Saturday and led to nine injuries. The other eight on Sunday left 14 with injuries -- some critical or serious -- and two dead.

Both men who were killed died in the same shooting at about 3 a.m. Sunday in Manhattan's Hamilton Heights neighborhood.

The men, 21-year-old Kenny Jiminez and 29-year-old Francisco Mercedez, were shot after a motorist got out of his car and opened fire. Jiminez was shot in the neck and died at the scene; Mercedez was hit in the back and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. 

The outbreak included a particularly bloody stretch between 10 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. Sunday, when 15 people were injured in eight separate shootings.

Mayor de Blasio reiterated that crime, overall, is down in the city and urged New Yorkers to put the bloody weekend in context. 

"Crime overall is down 3 percent," he said. "While shootings are up, we were down 26 murders from last year. We're doing this by deploying officers into the precincts with the greatest challenges." 

The mayor said additional police resources would be added in particularly high-crime areas.

"I don't take any shootings lightly," he said. "I don't take crime of any kind lightly." 

Citywide, the Bronx leads a recent spike in the number of shooting victims, with 242 people shot this year, up from 191. In Queens, 116 people have been shot, up from 110; in Manhattan, 74 people have been shot, up from 69; and in Brooklyn, 368 people have been shot, up from 338.

Staten Island saw a decrease in the number of shootings this year, from 28 down to 23.  

The first shots of that stretch rang out at Jefferson Park in East Harlem at about 10 p.m., when three people were injured in a shooting at the park at 113th Street and First Avenue. One of the victims was seriously injured, according to officials.

After a few hours of relative quiet, police were again called to upper Manhattan, when a man was shot at West 128th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue around 2 a.m. The fatal shooting in Hamilton Heights came about an hour later.

Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, a 19-year-old was hurt in a shooting in Bedford-Stuyvesant at about 2 a.m. Then, at about 5:30 a.m., the borough saw its second shooting when a man was hit at Pennsylvania Avenue in East New York.

Three people were shot on a street in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday. A 19-year-old was shot in the arm, a 24-year-old was also shot in the arm and a 29-year-old was shot in the thigh. The victims are expected to survive.

In a shooting in the South Jamaica neighborhood of Queens at around 6 a.m. Sunday two men got out of a car, fired more than 20 rounds and hit four people. Two of the victims were in critical condition, according to officials.

The weekend also included several slashings and stabbings. Police shot a man in the Bronx at about 4 a.m. Sunday after he allegedly attacked a woman with a knife.

Also Sunday, four people were hurt in two separate slashings on subway trains in midtown.

-- Andrew Siff contributed to this report. 

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