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. Tee

    I am certain you're correct.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. fred

    That is a racist comment,but it's almost a fact,and im black.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tee

    "flagged."_________________________________________ The truth hurts eh?

    September 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Coach Lew

    This is what happens when the economy sinks to it's lowest lever since the "great depression". Thanks Hussein Obama.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • lotus_65

      dude, i'm not happy with our prez right now, but there's nothing more bigoted, obstructionist, divisive and downright tribal than the republican party and it's war-dogs, the tea party. keep taking opportunities and social safety nets in favor of fattening up the hoarders, this is the desired result. yep, they are TRYING to get this to happen, and succeeding. they're just gross.

      September 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John

    You realize almost all blacks (I would bet >99%) in America are native-born American citizens, right?

    September 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jimmay

    The majority doesn't seem to understand that when you create gun laws, it only affects the law abiding citizens. It basically makes it so that law abiding citizens are not willing to carry a weapon because they don't want to break the law whereas the "criminal element" will obtain a gun illegally and carry it illegally. The result is, the law abiding citizen falls prey to those that are willing to disobey the law. So in short, gun laws do not affect the criminals, they affect the law abiding citizens. This country is a$$ backwards. Too liberal and too conservative. There must be some common ground along with some common sense.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joe

    No matter what gun laws you put in place people that want to do wrong will continue to due so. Australia passed a fire arm ban and within the first 12 months armed robberies increased 44%. Homicides assualts and other violet crimes all increased ass well. Its alot easier to do so when you know youre victim has nothing to depend themselves with. Its not guns that kill people. Its criminals that do and banning firearms wont solve drug dealers and thugs from killing people unfortunately. Maybe its the punishment that needs to be more harsh. You kill someone and go to jail for 10-20 years how is that fair why should my tax money go to feeding and clothing and housing someone that doesnt deserve to live.

    September 6, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hillman

    hate to break it to u but blacks Muslims and Latinos are Americans sum of them

    September 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jimmay

    Wow. Apparently your parents didn't subject you to a diverse school/environment. I grew up as a white kid in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. I may have been subjected to racism, but I also learned that it is ignorance that leads to racism. I don't hold a grudge against any race. This has nothing to do with race. This involves social economic status. Your remark is just downright ignorant. Do you have a supply of rope and extra pillow cases? It sounds as if you might be an individual that possesses these items. Must I remind you that most large scale acts of violence that occur in the United States is carried out by White males?

    September 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dave

    Those are the kind of statistics one would expect from Mexico. "You can take the person out of the country..."

    September 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. loc

    Ok first off, no matter what America does about gun laws you will never change the fact that people will continue to break the law in the first place. For example; take a drug dealer on the street he doesn’t have a squirt gun under his shirt or a baseball bat…….. amazing it’s a gun that he has illegally. So this is just another way for people that that follow the laws have to deal with So that gun violence is crushed forever, right. We all know that’s not going to happen. Most governments just like the USA can’t stop much of anything happening in our country look at how the fight on drugs has been going on or oh yea the border patrol. Yea another joke, we want to be nice and care about people’s feelings when people break the law. Just look at what people get for possession of narcotics or for having a gun illegally. I’m sure they have time to get out of jail and commit another act of violence to probably an innocent person that has never done anything illegal in their life. But that’s the system that we live in. This will never change it will never be fixed it will be like this till the end of time or whenever we run out of oil. So don’t be surprised when you see more shooting or more drug violence in America you just hear what the media wants you to hear. This is the American dream "that everyone else wants" yea right.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ness

    Ok first off, no matter what America does about gun laws you will never change the fact that people will continue to break the law in the first place. For example; take a drug dealer on the street he doesn’t have a squirt gun under his shirt or a baseball bat…….. amazing it’s a gun that he has illegally. So this is just another way for people that that follow the laws have to deal with So that gun violence is crushed forever, right. We all know that’s not going to happen. Most governments just like the USA can’t stop much of anything happening in our country look at how the fight on drugs has been going on or oh yea the border patrol. Yea another joke, we want to be nice and care about people’s feelings when people break the law. Just look at what people get for possession of narcotics or for having a gun illegally. I’m sure they have time to get out of jail and commit another act of violence to probably an innocent person that has never done anything illegal in their life. But that’s the system that we live in. This will never change it will never be fixed it will be like this till the end of time or whenever we run out of oil. So don’t be surprised when you see more shooting or more drug violence in America you just hear what the media wants you to hear. This is the American dream "that everyone else wants" yea right.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ruth

    James you are an idiot.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jay

    Stop being upset at the one black guy that slept with your mother. It's not fair buddy

    September 6, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mbaDad

    This story has no statistical contexts, mostly an inflammatory news article. But research the relationship between strict gun laws and shootings, and you will likely be surprised.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • GaBoy

      MBA Dad, did you read the NYPD Murder Report for 2010 linked in the article?

      September 6, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
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