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. Squid

    NYC is the rear end of America

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

      Yeah? You basing that opinion on all the years you've lived there or all the times you visited?

      September 6, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • pastafaria

      Squid, you need to learn more about the human anatomy – how could the rear end of America be located in such close proximity (just across the river) from the armpit of America?

      September 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Semper718

      The only reason you think its the rear end of America is because someone like you could never make it there.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • brooklynmc

      NYC is the best that the US has to offer. I don't suppose you would let us all know what wonderful place in the US you reside? I didn't think so.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. edlungfish

    new york has some of the toughest gun laws which means now only the crimminals have guns. theres the problem right there

    September 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. @Gungwho?


    September 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. You get what you wish for

    This must be a mistake. How can CRIMINALS use gun to commit crime when it's illegal to do so? How can they commit crime when Bloomberg thinks CRIMINALS will abide by the law??? Are you telling me that CRIMINALS doesn't follow the law??? OMG!!!

    September 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rightnyer

    The problem is not guns. The problem is the black underclass. These shootings almost never involve whites or Asians. Why is that?

    September 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sencho

      Michael Rightmyer? Is that you?

      September 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Schmedley

      Because it's all the Man's fault... It's never their fault. Got it?

      September 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • hmmmmmm

      Probably because they are too busy WORKING to pay for their aid??? Just a thought.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • mrrains

      yeah, white people never kill or shoot people....columbine, oklahoma city bombing....asian gangs use guns too chief. in other words, just get a life.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rightnyer

      MrRains: You are a fool. Blacks are ten times more likely to commit violent crimes than whites, and 20 times as likely as Asians. To argue that there isn't a racial element to gun crime is just stupid and leftist.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • PaulMc1981

      Precisely. Why IS that? Conservatives assert (erroneously) that poor black people have a character defect, and that is supposedly the whole story Liberals tend to more realistically understand that socioeconomic marginalization – the lack of quality education, the lack of good jobs, the overly vindictive "criminal justice" system – conspire to breed these character defects and negative behavior patterns.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      You're going to throw the 'all-created-equal' crowd nuts with that pesky FACT! Too bad the DOJ data prove you right........so if they quit keeping records, we WOULD be 'equal'..........

      September 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ol Pistol Pete

      Don't forget the police. They're always shooting people too! And they are certainly not prejudiced about it....they'll shoot anyone! Keep banning those guns Mayor!

      September 6, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sunny

    Actually the other way around Cuttlefish

    September 6, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. space alien

    Some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. And THIS STILL happens? What does it take to convince people that gun laws DON'T work. When people commit a crime with a gun, LOCK THEM UP FOR LIFE. THAT will work. Guns will always be out there & available to the criminal element. Imprison violent criminals for life & stop the violence.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      Better yet, just shoot them...it's a whole lot cheaper and the irony is priceless.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. al leong / nyc / toronto

    i believe its about drugs and guns. its abour fear control and anger management – entertainment -> violence -> violent thoughts/actions.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. OregonTom

    Where I live everyone has firearms and nothing ever gets shot but targets and animals. All of you stupid city people behave before we end up with a police state.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sheikyerboutie

    I can carry a concealed weapon anywhere in NY except for in the 5 boroughs. That is where I'd want it the most! Good thing I don't go in the city much.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kelly

    I like the part that says violent crime for the most part is down in the rest of the country, EXCEPT New York....i would say that their gun control is REALLY working for them....

    September 6, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rob

    2 sides to every argument: We need gun control, not because it stops people from doing stupid things with guns but deters the weak willed from doing stupid things with guns. We DO NOT need gun control, because people shouldn't be afraid to defend themselves, their homes, and their neighbors because it takes weeks of paperwork after you shoot the intruder.

    Oh, Ya No (another poster) You're absolutely right!! what gun control folks seem to forget: You have a handgun and shoot an intruder. The cops take you in and question you. They check your references, ballistics with your handgun, the people you spend time with, etc. The dudes that just drive around shooting people don't have to worry about that until they're caught. So when you outlaw/control gun ownership, you're only hurting the property owners and residents in the nearby area of the shooting.

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

      I've owned a handgun for years. The first order of safety was buying a safe. The gun is in the safe if I'm not home. It is on my nightstand at night. My bedroom door is locked. You come through the door, you leave in a bag. The utterly agonizing decision to shoot another human being has to be made in advance, no exceptions. The person coming through that door won't hesitate – if you do, you'll very likely die.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. cabinights

    I live in rural canada. I see 48 and then think NY is far away. The USA has a problem with freedom.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sunny

      I think you should be delighted the USA has guaranteed your freedom for the last 56 years as you stand proud and free in front of your log cabin...

      September 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sorrowmate

    New York is a happening place...

    September 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hotness

    That's good publicity for the city. I have no desire to ever visit that place.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hotter

      Yeah, and I have no desire to visit your trailer park.

      September 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
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