2 Cops Among 67 Shot in Weekend Violence; Teen and 56-Year-Old Bystander Killed
Three people were killed and two police officers were wounded in a shooting a few blocks from the annual West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn, capping a violent holiday weekend in which nearly 70 people were injured by gunfire.
Updated statistics obtained by NBC New York on Tuesday show that at least 67 people were shot between 12 a.m. Friday and 11:59 p.m. Monday. That includes nine on Friday, 10 on Saturday, 33 on Sunday and 15 on Monday.
Preliminary numbers indicate as many as 10 were killed.
In the police-involved shooting Monday near the parade in Brooklyn, bullet fragments hit one police officer in the left arm and chest. He was hospitalized but was expected to survive. Another officer was grazed by a bullet.
One shooter in that Crown Heights melee was killed along with a bystander, 56-year-old Denise Gay, who was shot while sitting on a stoop with her daughter nearby just two doors down from the exchange of gunfire. Another shooter was in serious condition at the hospital.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday the city should not consider shutting down the parade, which often sees violence and had fatal shootings in 2003 and 2005.
"I don't think it'd be wise to close it down, but it's just unfortunate that there seems to be every year some violence attended to it," he said.
Kelly said the gunman who killed Gay had an extensive criminal history, including criminal possession of a firearm and assault and drug charges.
The shootings started as an exchange between two armed men, and when officers who had been assigned to parade duties arrived at the scene, they were fired upon and returned fire, police said.
Witnesses said the shooting went on for at least 30 seconds. Thomas Kaminsky, who lives near where the shootings occurred, said it sounded like machine-gun fire outside his building.
Earlier Monday, as revelers filled the streets in colorful costumes during the parade, separate gun violence brought the festivities to a stop in spots, scattering the panicked crowd. Police said four people were shot and wounded along the parade route and a 15-year-old boy was grazed by a bullet nearby.
A city councilman was briefly detained after getting into a confrontation with police after the parade.
The violent holiday weekend included a Sunday shooting in the Bronx in which eight people, including children, were wounded.
Four other people were shot in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn early Monday, including a 17-year-old boy who died.
The upcoming 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks and holiday weekend violence had put the city "on heightened alert," Kelly said before the parade stepped off.
Police helicopters hovered overhead during the parade, and officers on scooters and on foot patrolled the surrounding blocks.
Officer Omar Medina, 36, was being treated for his arm and chest wounds. Officer Avichaim Dicken, whose arm was grazed, was at a second hospital.
The annual Labor Day parade celebrates the culture of the Caribbean islands and is one of the city's largest outdoors events.