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. John

    New York has the strictest gun laws but they still get into the hands of criminals. If all weapons were forbidden, the bad guys would still have them. They don't obey the laws now, why would they obey stronger laws. If the honest citizen was armed, the story may read " 48 criminals killed in NYC this weekend."

    September 6, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tom

    This coming from a city with every imaginable gun control, which never saw any gun control it didn't like. In Oklahoma City, with NO such gun controls, there were ZERO shootings over the same time period. NYC just might learn something here, but unfortunately for its citizens, it won't ... so please don't hold your breath.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. epicjourney

    So the place with the most gun control laws in the country have the most problems with gun crime? Maybe 'cuase crooks know everyone but them are disarmed?? Shame on you libs for contributing to the mayhem by not allowing people to protect themselves.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. missLolitaTn

    So gun control doesn't work?
    Noooooo...then just the stinkin bad guys have them! Oh and by the way I would consider myself a sane liberal viwed person...not extreme either way. If a criminal enters my house he will be met with a trained german shepherd and a 9mm

    September 6, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Silvance

      Gun control only works if there were no guns to begin with. The fact that there are already millions, if not billions, of guns in the country already, makes gun control absolutely impossible to implement. Gun control works fairly well in Britain, and even Canada, because their gun control laws have been in effect a fairly long time. That, and some of the highest producing gun manufacturers have been US companies anyway.

      September 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • nutstomper

      Gun control laws that target law-abiding citizens don't work because all you're doing is disarming victims so bad guys can REALLY have their way with them.

      September 6, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. m00nsuit

    If you do the stats how many people killed per capita?
    If you do the stats how many killers knew each other?
    If you do the stats how many of these were drug deals gone bad?
    If you do the stats how many of these killings were crimes of passion?
    If you do the stats how many of these killings would be prevented with better gun control?
    If you do the stats what's the odds this will ever change?

    The extremes are not a predictor of the future its the averages and the real question is where is New York headed?

    September 6, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ummm, NO.

      Where is New York headed? Tectonically speaking about 1mm per year to the west!

      September 6, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tim

    Looks like banned the 2nd Amendment is working out really well for New York.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • You're an idiot, Tim

      It's amazing, how many things I can find wrong with a simple, one-line statement. First (and most importantly) The Second Amendment was conceived and created when there were no such things as automatic weapons. Second, the Second Amendment was created in a time and place that no longer exists. If it didn't already exist, there is zero chance that lawmakers would now say that everyone has the right to keep and bear arms, and there would absolutely be a limit to the number of weapons allowed per household. Third, the population of the Nation was a fraction of what it is today, and again, if it were written today, it would absolutely require a mental health background check and database of those deemed mentally ill. These restrictions would prevent thousands of senseless gun crimes. The FACT is, owning a gun has proven a helpful deterrent in only a handful of violent crimes, and more often than not results in injury or death of the homeowner that would not occur if the homeowner were unarmed. Check your facts, THEN continue to spew your Fox Facts. You're Welcome.

      September 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • missLolitaTn

      To your AN IDIOT TIM
      Wow where to start....first you insult someone for their opinion....second you spout YOUR stoooopid opinion. Look buddy...This whole country of 2011 is not what our forefathers had in mind, so befor you critisize our right to bear arms do a little research and don't be so willing to drin the KOOL-AID! SHEEPLE

      September 6, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • U.S.Army-OverLord

      I got your back Tim, You can't get rid of guns period. It is impossible. Ten of millions of guns exist. Our country was created through the use of a gun. I love my guns and I will NEVER give them up. Why should I give up my guns I own legally, just because some fool drinks, drives and kills someone should I give up my car too? If you don't want a gun fine don't get one. But I will not only keep mine, I will pass them down to my children one day 😉

      September 6, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • missLolitaTn

      Another thing YOUR AN IDIOT TIM:
      The federal government was never meant to be soooooooo involved with each and every state...also a mental health check? give me a break? you also believe the war on drugs is working....keep plugging a your dollars toward that cause....Jesus

      September 6, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Necrofun

    New Yorkers should be reminded that weekend murders are not to exceed twenty-three, except for certain listed holidays when the murder rate is typically higher and somewhat expected.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. nutmeg'd

    It comes down to citizens taking a stand. Enough sitting around and thinking it is the cop's job to be everywhere at every moment. Stop pretending that we all live in a bubble, where everything is peachy keen. Your actions have a ripple effect. If you know someone who is involved in drugs and the violence that follows, open your mouth to someone who can do something about it. Random tips go a long way.

    We need to stop being spectators in watching our country go down the drain.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dnsf

    Look at their photos and I think you will have your answer.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jenycuco

    Wow, what a crapshoot. I'll never visit that country.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mdmooser

    Just make bullets way way expensive, gotta help.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • U.S.Army-OverLord

      Hey that's what the black market is for LOL

      September 6, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. crgaillee

    they were shot?! oh my..., would you rather they were thrown out the window. controlling guns is not going to stop the criminal.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. APerspective

    We are the most warring nation on earth, and American wars of the past 60 years being of dubious morality. We have massive numbers of kids and 20 something’s sitting in front of hi resolution video games slashing and shooting innocent bystanders on the street. Aristotle said “If children live with hostility, they learn to fight” a keen observation from before the time of Christ. So how long will it take before we stop wallowing in hostility? Another 3,500 years? I guarantee American does not have that long. Stop the wars. Stop glorification of violence in all media. And when a violent offender is locked up, throw away the key.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Boinking BIll

    What a way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Only in NY.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JGB

    To be fair, there are 8.1 million people in NY, so 1 shooting for every 170,000 people. If there was 1 shooting in Tallahasee FL or Chattenooga TN, it wouldn't be a story. Lets try not to over react.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
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