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. Jason

    We don't need stricter gun control laws. It's a dead horse, but gun control laws only affect law abiding citizens...not criminals. They break the law when they rob, hurt or kill someone...what the hell do they care about a possible weapons charge (this is why they are called criminals). What we need are stricter mandatory punishments, aka "use a gun..." laws. More gun control is going to be like pushing a blind man down the stairs. Sure he gets to the bottom, but he was better off being left alone.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joker429

    CNN – I am pro-religion and anti-atheist. Going to post this?

    September 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. new york hater

    Typical new yakers havin a little fun.What else those pukes in that state got to do.I think they are doing a fine job getting rid of each other.My opinion sink the whole freakin island.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Frank

    Mexico has very strict gun control. Permits are required for all private guns. They are registerd with the Mexican Army. Its a great model – Mexico has almost no gun violence at all.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Su Su

      This is your way of being sarcastic, I suppose?

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

      Hahaha!

      September 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Adam

    CNN needs to start reporting on the real issue...GUNS. Its ironic that every news publication breaks story after story surrounding violent shootings and no one has the guts to put the antiquated 2nd amendment in the spotlight. Someone needs to wake up.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • rch

      Adam, NYC has the strictest gun laws in the nation. Please reconcile the correlation to high gun violence in this case please? I know you hear this all the time and probably want to puke when you hear it, but since when did criminals abide by laws (whether it be gun laws or any other laws) when they don't want to? I agree that guns end up in the wrong hands in many cases, but this often comes from auctions (at least in Virginia) where there is no background check with the State Police or any other precautionary measure. When purchased in a licensed firearm dealer's store, the background checks and police registration are sufficient to keep guns out of the wrong hands while also maintaining adherence to the 2nd Amendment. Lawful ownership of firearms by law-abiding citizens is a good thing and a deterrent for criminals as well as a legitimate means to self defense. Thus the hole in the system may be at auctions. Even as a gun advocate, I fully support abolishment of unregulated gun auctions. However, fully removing gun rights by law-abiding citizens is not in the interest of social stability. One of Hitler's first agendas to establish his grip on his people was siezing their guns, and thus their right to check his power. For that reason, among many others, the 2nd Amendment is beneficial. Unfortunately the reality is, if those who disagree with it want take it to the extreme and seccede from the rest of the country, go for it. If those same people want to maintain control over those who prefer to keep the 2nd Amendment, they will need a heap of luck in their unarmed fight against those who do remain armed.

      September 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. That Guy From One Tree Hill

    Whooo sure is a strange city, but let me tell you something that'll make everything better......penis penis penis penis penis

    September 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joe

    This has nothing to do with guns. Bad economy, high unemployment figures, collapse of dollar are all contributing to the start of uncontrollable civil unrest. Get ready sheoples.....

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

      Yay-men, my brother. +gun regs : + violent crime. Positive correlation ... not implying causation, of course. (Like DC, or Chicago, or LA ...)
      Tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, anniversaries, joblessness, faltering economy - Yep, I'd say Bloomie's right on top of things once again.
      Must be th' dang guns ...

      September 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • wakka

      sounds like a bigger problem is 8 officers firing 70 rounds at the cirminal.... Don't these guys practice? Do they understand trigger control and marksmanship basics??? or was this just a hey I dont get to shoot my weapon much so I am gonna unload every chance I get.

      September 6, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nirvana

      New York–and in particular Manhattan–are very, very safe. While I deplore the shootings, statistically they are still a blip in a city of over 8 million.

      September 6, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guy Fawkes

      Well, yes - of course they practice. Outside of the qualifications there is no funding for additional ammo, though (as far as I know). And - practice at a target range does not equate to responding to fire. I've shot targets next to plenty of cops - better than average, worse than most folks I know. The point is: if someone is shooting and you see a the gun in his hand you shoot a lot of stuff at that person - it's not a marksmanship contest. Given that a pistol is not a "primary" police tool (the brain being Job 1), handgunning is not a daily practice regimen. Which may be a shame in some instances, BUT - if someone starts shooting in YOUR general direction, how cool and calm are YOU going to be ... given that you've fired maybe 50 rounds in the last 6 months ... at paper.

      September 6, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jane

    This is not a RANDOM TRAGEDY, this is the direct result of the West Indian day parade, which happens every year on this very weekend and every year these people disrupt and terrorize this city and innocent people get caught in the cross fire. As if we need more of that. No politician or reporter will admit that this parade is nothing but a violent event that attracts criminals to "celebrate" their "heritage." Please report the facts, CNN, or don't call yourself a news site.

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

      For those who like to always blame the West Indian Parade, it didn't happen during the time of the parade okay. This event has been going on for over 35 years and if some on here that don't like it, go back to your farms in the Midwest or suburbs in Upstate and watch the Honeymooners all day. New York is a City of different cultures and Brooklyn represents that well. Better yet, go back to Manhattan and don't come to the BK. When millions of people congregate in a 2-3 mile strip, things can happen. Unfortunately, there are a few people who want to ruin it for many.

      September 6, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • West Indian Day Parade

      You Sound verY Stupid Jane.
      You can't attach random violence event across the whole of NYC to a parade. What your failing to see was the parade took place in Brooklyn. what hapen to the people that was shoot in The Bronx, Queens and Long Island. I guess those people got lost heading to the parade.

      September 6, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jack NYC

    You're talking about a city with a population of 10 million people. in a year there are something like 300 murders. Per capita this is miniscule. There are counties in rural America with small populations were 3 or 4 people will get murdered and it doesn't make the news because it seems like such a small number. 2 or 3 murders in a population of 1,000 is pretty outrageous. Guns offer a false sense of security and a sense of power that fills a void in people who are afraid.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • TD40

      About 300 a year? Last year, as it plainly states in the article, there were 536. So... basically double your figure... but ok.

      September 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • R

      3 murders in a weekend (or even a year) in a town of 1000 people would cause a huge panic in that city. Where did you do your research?

      September 6, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • ei8htx

      Your "statistic" is a lie. Looking at New York State and going off official statistics, small counties like Hamilton of 4800 people have a violent crime rate per 100k of 82 and violent crime w/ firearm of 21. Compared with say, Albany of 300k people its 401 and 52 respectively. 11 Million in New York it's 247 and 46. Looking at all years back as far as 2005, there have been ZERO murders. Small counties win.

      But don't take my word for it:
      criminaljustice.state.ny.us/crimnet/ojsa/indexcrimes/2010-county-violent-rates.pdf
      http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Hamilton-New-York.html

      September 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sailingwindward

    How is this possible? NYC is a "Gun Free Zone" then again DC was a gun free zone with highest gun-crime rate in the nation.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      What do you expect? You take 10 million unarmed sheep and the guys that make a living breaking the law have a free shooting gallery with no worries.

      Not rocket science.

      September 6, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ron mexico

    pretty clear Obama has failed the country. Running on "Everything is going to be fine" "hope" and "change" were nothing but smoke and mirrors. Well guess what america, we've looked behind the curtain. There isnt a wizard back there..there's nothing.

    A vote for Obama is a vote for a monthly speech that promises nothing, solves nothing, grows nothing........A vote for Obama is another 4 years of no growth, no hope, no future.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • TD40

      What does this have to do with the story above? Absolutely nothing.

      September 6, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • DYBO

      Your best bet is to move to Mexico

      September 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Prince of Common Cents

      @ Ron Mexico:

      While you're at it, why not blame the President for acts of God such as Hurricane Irene and the recent earthquake in Virginia? Hell, why stop there?!? Why not blame Obama for the wildfires in Texas?!? You're about as smart as an ashtray on a motorcycle....

      September 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • BobJ

      It's a shame you weren't one of the dead

      September 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gregg

      First off, are you stupid? This is an article about murders/gun issues in NY.

      I think it was first published by the republican/t-party boobs that obama had a failed presidency about 30 minutes after he was elected.(possibly 30 minutes before)

      I suppose you think a vote for a T-party /Republican will make all the difference in the world. Keep dreaming.

      Look at it this way, if Obama fixed the economy, lowered taxes, reduced the size of government, outlawed abotions, repealed obamacare you would find fault with that too!

      You don't five a $%@*& about our country, as long as your beloved republican or t-party candidate is in charge.

      It is this dogmatic loyalty to "party" that is undoing our country.

      oy!

      September 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Anthony

    Brooklyn, Brooklyn, and the Bronx......surprized the toll wasnt higher......l could only guess the location and the trash that was involved....couldnt have been a high profile part of NYC or it would have been front page new and Bloomburg would have been kissing the patient at the Hospital......you want to see averages, go to Kings County Hospital for one night and tell me what you see.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bumper

    Badlucc, yes you are right and I don't know anyone who is follish enough not to agree with you. However, the Goverment can take steps to reduce the number of children and innocent bystanders from getting shot. Face the issue, shootings prmariily occur in minority communties. Now and then you see the concerned citizens in those communites march against violence.( After all it's their children getting shot) It seems to me it does nothing to reduce the violence. The leaders of their communities (not all) are the first ones always siding against the Police in shooting incidents. For some that's how they get elected. There are also alot of people on the internet that just enjoy bashing th Police. They are so ignorant and know nothing about what they are talking about. After Diallo, which was a tragic incident indeed. The black leaders did everything they could to have the Police Commissioner do away with the one unit that saved many, many lives and that's a fact. I hope they are happy with the results. I am not.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. CRYBA

    When you outlaw guns, only outlaws have guns & criminals run rampant.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • rch

      Yup – it's is as simple as that. I try to write lengthy explanations of it, but it doesn't get any simpler than that!

      September 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chuck

    So how many of the people who were in these shootouts had criminal records that would have prevented them from owning a pistol? So how many law abiding citizens were able to stop these crimes because they had a right to carry. None because you can't get a right to carry in NY.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • rch

      Exactly, which is why I'll rarely visit that city. It's not that hard to understand.

      September 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
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