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. Joker429

    CNN Do not post this either!!

    September 6, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. David

    How many automobile accidents were there over the weekend? How many caused by alcohol? How many fatalities?

    September 6, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harvey G.

      David, one thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

      September 6, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • rch

      Harvey, sure they do. The mayor is blabbering about stricter gun control because he believes the already ridiciulously strict gun control laws in NYC are inadequate. There were probably equal if not greater fatalities from intoxicated drivers (perhaps not in NYC on this specific weekend, but in general), so I think David might be implying that the mayor should stop wasting so much time making irrational arguments on something that is already over controlled, and start making rational cases on something that does not get as much attention but is more harmful to society. Not that hard to follow...

      September 6, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joker429

    CNN, I am pro-gun! What do your monitors think of that?

    September 6, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. rhymeskeema

    Bloomberg passes the buck to Washington

    September 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. GJ

    Sounds just like every other lawmaker in NYC pointing blame on everyone else for their problems.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Badlucc

    There is no way humanly possible to stop violence,talk about it till you turn blue in the face,the sad fact is its a part of life,just like racism,its gonna exist until we cease to..exist!

    September 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Blogson

    Having lived in rural areas where one had to summon law enforcement only to deal with escapees from large cities who came to cause trouble, these and other shootings in part reflect a society where individualism often has become so out of hand that many people are in total disconnect with regard to societal responsibility and communality.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    The tougher the gun laws, the worse the gun violence. It's a statistical fact. Allow law abiding citizens (without mental problems or criminal records) to carry guns if they want to and they will contribute to lowering/fighting violent crimes (including gun violence) either as an implied deterrent or as an active one. This is a simple and proven fact.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. rch

    NYC has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, and when this type of violence occurs, the mayor blames it on lack of gun control. Other states and municipalities, who have loose gun control, do not see this type of gun violence per capita, so if you were to make a deduction from the statistics, it would suggest that looser gun control works better. I'm not necessarily suggesting that this correlation is meaningful and that looser gun control definitely means less violence, but it does show how the mayor's knee jerk reaction is irrational and perhaps only political.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    The problem is not the guns. The problem is the morons who voted our incompetent president in to office. Everyone warned Obama was going to be a new version of Jimmy Carter. Well, it has happened and he ended up being even worse then Jimmy Carter. Make when Carter was in office, the first half of the NY news was dedicated to all of the violence in NYC. This is what happens when nobody has a job. People get crazy and violent. You got the change you were looking for, but unfortunately there is no hope!!!

    September 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • jdurand

      And it would have been no different regardless of who was in office. You think McCain would have handled this better? Romney? Clinton?

      No. This presidency was a losing battle from the beginning

      September 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Su Su

      Why blame our president? It's the Republicans who ALWAYS vote down stricter gun laws. Why don't you blame them? Probably because you're ONE of them!

      September 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Fast and Furious

    These crimes were probably committed using guns from our very own Fast and Furious program.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Valerie

    Who cares! I am sure the majority of these shootings were gang or drug related and who gives a crap about those low life's. I am sure some bleeding heart liberal will be on here saying "they are people too" and " he was such a good boy" . Yeah, well if they were really that good, how come they are walking around shooting people? How about a story about how many junky drug users died this weekend? That is the equivalent of what you morons are saying that "guns kill people". Just like we all forced the drugs into the system of the junkies, we forced that gun into the hand of the shooter! Hopefully gang members and drug dealers will all kill each other and it will be less idiots the police will have to deal with.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • rch


      September 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • jdurand

      Yep. I'm sure those two cops that were shot were low-life's. Oh, and that woman sitting out on her stoop with her child. Serves her right...damn lowlife.

      I wonder how many others of the 48 with equally as reprehensible?

      September 6, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. buddget

    It's stupid to think that the lawmakers can wave a magic wand and make gun violence go away.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jack NYC

    Blogson–gun violence is rampant eveywhere in the US. It's our obsesson with guns and the easy acess to firearms. Rural America has seen a huge increase in gun violence and not from "escapees" from cities. Local born and raised drug factories help support this violence. I also, grew up and lived in rural areas and saw a lot of misuse of guns. Gun violence is an American problem, not a city, suburb or rural problem.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. chris

    Well we know his honor will not pray about it....

    September 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
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