48 NYC shootings in a weekend: Trend or random tragedy?
"This is a national problem requiring national leadership," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
September 6th, 2011
01:41 PM ET

48 NYC shootings in a weekend: Trend or random tragedy?

It was a very bloody Labor Day weekend in New York. Forty-eight people were shot, including two law enforcement officers and a woman who was sitting with her daughter on a Brooklyn building stoop. The officers survived; three people have died.

The high number of shootings has captured headlines and led some to wonder whether there's some specific explanation for the violence.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says there is, and he said Tuesday that lawmakers in the nation's capital ought to do something to better control gun violence. New York state reportedly had some of the strictest gun laws in the country, but Bloomberg wants Washington's help. He spoke outside a hospital where the officers were being treated.

"This is a national problem requiring national leadership," he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "But at the moment, neither end of Pennsylvania Avenue has the courage to take basic steps that would save lives."

Jon M. Shane, an assistant professor at one of America's most highly regarded policing think tanks, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, cautioned against drawing any conclusions from the numbers alone. Shane spent 20 years with the police department in Newark, New Jersey, which has consistently ranked as one of the most violent cities in the United States.

"I would caution against chalking this up to violence that is going to happen over any holiday weekend," Shane said, adding that thorough analysis of each Labor Day weekend shooting should be done to extrapolate concrete explanations that go beyond the particulars of each incident. One would need to research possible motives in each case and investigate suspects' backgrounds and their possible criminal affiliations. Previous crimes at the locations should be weighed from every angle.

In short, 48 shootings sounds like a lot, but drawing any large conclusions, or linking them to a larger trend, will take time.

The woman and the officers were shot Monday hours after the West Indian American Day Parade ended in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. According to the New York Post, two men were "slap boxing" before a shootout in which police became involved. In all, nine people in the area of the parade were shot.

Several people were shot in the Bronx on Sunday. Some of the wounded were children. Four people were shot Monday in Flatbush, Brooklyn, one teenager fatally.

The weekend's bloodshed put a fine point on figures the FBI released in May showing that violent crime was down throughout the country in the past year but up in New York. The New York Police Department released its own report in January, available in full here (PDF), which visually lays out all of the city's 536 homicides in 2010.

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Filed under: Crime • New York
soundoff (540 Responses)
  1. RUFFNUTT (super conductor magnet maker and space explorer)

    i remember when having fun on the weekend was drinking some beers and sitting on the porch with a fat blunt and listening to some credence clearwater...

    September 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ya No

      ruff: So do I.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. yada

    Very sad. I read somewhere, a long time ago, that crime rate is higher during "heat waves" for some unknown reason.

    September 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yeah Right

      The heat makes people much more irritable... if you were being sarcastic I apologize.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • FirstResponder

      The crime rate will be on the rise due to the widespread joblessness and the state of the economy. When people lose hope, they start to do selfish things. Depending on their morals and how they were raised, those things can often be illegal.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mr Money aka frozenvengence

    This may sound a little sterotypical but is it bad that I'm not suprised at all?

    September 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Truth

    The reason for increased violence... the recent release of music by Jay Z, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne. Some humans have not been educated and do not understand metaphor.

    September 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      You do realize that Jay-z and Kanye rap mostly about their own fame and wealth, not about violence? Also The Carter IV is a pretty non-violent album all things considered.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JohnQPublick

    All the terrorists need to do is just leave crates of guns on a busy corner in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, and let American's shoot each other. These 48 shootings show how our illegal gun laws are obviously pathetic and almost impossible to enforce at the state level.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr Money aka frozenvengence

      Leave a box of guns on a street corner here in Idaho and they would just get taken home and added to our gun collections. You never hear of rednecks shooting each other. Just cars tvs and old junk

      September 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. realist

    Violent video games should have a 7 day waiting period.

    Kids in Eithopia don't shoot each other because Ethopia has gun control...oh wait, it's be cause kids in Ethiopia don't even have food.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ethopian Militia member

      I don't know if you were being sarcastic or stupid. But most Ethopian Childern over the age of 13 are in the militia shooting people that are different from them, christians, muslims, and whatever else. Could be because their hungry, however, more likely because there uneducated, and have no money. Like the old saying goes, gun laws are only followed by people that follow the law in the first place. Gun wielding, twitchy, and starving kids are not usually law abiding individuals. Just sawing.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. realist

    Damn whipper snappers and their violent rap music. 7- day waiting period on all explicit music.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ya No

    So easy. Dehumanize the rest of humanity. I'm unique, I'm special – you're not.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr Money aka frozenvengence

      If we are all unique and special then doesn't make us all the same?

      September 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ya No

      mrmoney: You'd think that would be the conclusion, wouldn't you? But then, we'd be talking about critical thinking, and that's more rare than objectivity.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Yeah Right

    The USA does need better hand gun laws but the NRA is such a powerful lobby that the GOP would never go against them no matter how many people are killed.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Sunshine

      Nope, we don't, period.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      The USA has more than enough hand gun laws. What we need to do is actually enforce them and send criminals to jail rather than giving them a slap on the wrist.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • dont be a sucker

      You have to get full background check to buy a handgun...What fricking more do you want ?

      Criminals Will Get Guns...deal with it

      I do....My Way 😉

      September 6, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr Money aka frozenvengence

      Also if the good guys can't have guns the bad guys will and then they could just shoot the good guys becasue they wouldn't have guns.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. J0nx

    So how's that gun ban working out for you there NYC? Yeah not so well I take it. When will people figure out that when you ban guns all you do is prevent honest, hard working people from protecting themselves while the thugs and criminals continue to pack. FAIL government law FAILS.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ya No

      jonx: One of the most obvious problems is; someone breaks into your home, threatens the lives of you and your family, you shoot them and have to defend your actions. The bangers aren't smart enough to be afraid of anything, the rest of us are afraid to defend our own lives.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • MWP

      " ... the rest of us are afraid to defend our own lives. "

      What? You really believe that guns should be banned because honest americans are "afraid to defend our own lives."

      NYC simply demonstrates that when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. X. O'Terica

    NYC has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country – and one of the highest crime rates; coincidence? Law-biding citizens obey gun laws, but criminals don't. Throughout this country increased legal gun ownership has been shown to result in reduced violent crime; another coincidence?

    September 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessie

      I lived in this neighborhood and accidently got out of the subway when this parade was happening. Was groped several times. My luggage was attempted to be stolen, my husband almost got pick pocketed. Unfortunately this is what happens when these people throw a party. Welcome to new york, carry on.

      September 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mr. Sunshine

    NYC already has more gun control than pretty much anywhere. More of it won't do anything.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rational99

    Two interesting quotes from this article: apparently gun control isn't helping......

    "New York state reportedly had some of the strictest gun laws in the country," AND... "figures the FBI released in May showing that violent crime was down throughout the country in the past year but up in New York."

    September 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kook Bin

    Maybe we should outlaw the West Indian American Day Parade

    September 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dak Hampton

    Blame it on others Bloomberg. Instead of blaming it on the simians that lie in your town.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dak Hampton

      I meant "that live"

      September 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Enact a no questions asked death penalty for ANY simian that so much has a picture of a weapon and the crime rate would drop 90%..........

      September 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
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