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. wes

    Guns don't kill people....people using guns kill people. If there were no guns the headline would read "48 NYC baseball bat bashings in a weekend: Trend or random tragedy?". Violence is violence and it would still happen. Taking away guns doesn't change it. It's a cultural problem that starts when you're young growing up without a strong male authority figure in your life. The broken family is a much bigger problem in this country than random gun violence.

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

      I'd rather get hit by a bat than a bullet. I can see the bat coming (hopefully) the bullet can hit me from many yards away. the whole "guns don't kill people" marketing campaign is one of the stupidest ever.

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

      Guns make it a lot easier. A gun is the most difficult thing to defend yourself against; a shooter can kill you from 100 feet (or more) away.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • rs

      Yea, and the woman shot sitting on her porch would have been hit with a well hurled bat. Yep, its not the guns and the ease of pulling a trigger from a distance. Nope, nah.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • conrad


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

      guns do kill people, but whatever, you obviously love your cliche because you have nothing intellegent to say.

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

      Not that I'm saying gun control is the 100% clear answer, but your argument is missing one thing. Baseball bats are used to play baseball. Knives are used to cut steak, or rope, or whatever. Guns sole purpose is destruction (even if for self defense). So I think it's a different argument than baseball bats, or knives, or cars or chainsaws or any other thing with a practical purpose.

      Plus, bludgeoning someone with a short range weapon takes determination. A trigger is point, and click. Too easy. That certainly contributes to the violence.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • thinkmuch?

      You are just stupid because you don't understand it. A gun isnt going to grow a finger and pull itself. A knife isn't going to grow legs and jump at you. A baseball bat isn't going to grow wings and glide into your face.

      A human with whatever intent they have will certainly make use of a weapon to get what they want.

      Since you are too stupid to realize that a gun is simply a ranged weapon, we will just change baseball bat to composite bow.

      You are so damn stupid its crazy. Its like you didnt even think that one through

      September 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • conrad

      It's a combination of factors. The first is that guns are widely available. The second is a poor economy. When there aren't legitimate means of making a living people resort to crime – especially the uneducated whose prospects are especially weak.

      I've heard of many people being killed by accidental gun-fire, but never by a baseball bat. You can be in the wrong place at the wrong time and get killed by a stray bullet when you would never be accidentally killed by other means of violence. Also, people can't defend themselves from guns, can't run, can't group up against a perpetrator. The answer is NOT more guns.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ya No

      Think: That is the most poorly considered and articulated argument for anything I've heard in forever. Very clever inclusion of three, count'em, three 'stupids' in your, um, 'argument' In response to your screen name; "In a relative sense, most certainly".

      September 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • thinkmuch?

      Think about it.

      Guns are here already. Its impossible to get rid of guns.

      Therefore, by your logic, we ban guns. Great now criminals have all the guns and nobody else can legally obtain one.

      Lets offer training and give people guns. Criminals are trained at using weapons, citizens are trained at using weapons. Everyone has weapons, everyones equal. Criminals will think twice knowing their victim is armed. Criminals will be forced to kill or be killed for whatever crime they commit. Never again can a criminal go into a crime knowing they wont face opposition.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeffrey Maguire

    Stricter gun laws are not the answer! The bad guys will always find guns. Work harder on putting the criminals behind bars, and keeping them there. I'm tired of seeing law abiding citizens punished for the ignorant senseless actions of a violent few.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chip

    If only we had more gun laws, surely these gangsters would comply.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Duh

    Gun laws do little when the availability still exists.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LockedLoaded

    One might wonder if some of the gun violence could be attributed to agents provocateur. Wouldn't put it past the TeaBaggers since they are using any avenue to discredit and antagonize various demographics. They threaten so much about seeking "2nd amendment remedies" to problems. Even dept of homeland security has been aware of the potential for violence from the radical right-wing folks over the past year.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. yoda

    "In short, 48 shootings sounds like a lot, but drawing any large conclusions, or linking them to a larger trend, will take time." Bloomberg jumping at the chance to increase gun control at a national level is also jumping to conclusions. NY has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation and one of the firearm violence rates in the nation. They don't need more or broader laws, they need to enforce what they currently have. There are numerous other places that have far less restrictive (oppressive) gun laws along with lower crime rates.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hotter

      You really need to work on your statistics. NYC has a surprisingly low crime rate. Though this chart doesn't give exact "gun death" statistics, I think you can get the idea.


      September 6, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David

    NYC is a sewer. This is not a surprise.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MIKE

    Can we bring the troops home to patrol NYC

    September 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Truth Teller

    NYC used to be a great city. It has now become a fascist police state. Like any good Nazi run City, the Gestapo (aka Police – NYPD) want to be the only armed criminals. The second amendment should allow ALL New Yorkers without criminal records the right to carry firearms. If everyone had the right to carry firearms, I guarantee we would have a much more egalitarian society. I also guarantee that meter maids would not be giving people tickets for double parking while there is someone seated in the vehicle.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Double parking is still a ticket, doesn't matter if you strapped your grandmother to the roof top. How are people suppose to get around you? We have to wait because you are either to lazy to find a proper place to park or is it that you just don't want to put money in the meter? Bottom line is I welcome the meter maids to ticket anyone that is parked illegal, because it's people like you that delay people who obey the rules from getting where they need to be.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • conrad

      Yeah, sounds anti-social. Has problems with authority.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Anti social, problems with authority, just the type of person who really should have a gun?

      September 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • brooklynmc


      September 6, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. VillageIdiot

    The problem is NY sucks. They care more about the Yankeess than their increasing homicide rate. Turd York is a craphole.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dr. Mumbai

    ___ More American Gun MADNESS !! ___

    250 MILLION Guns in the U$A is NOT ENOUGH ! ... Amerikkka needs MORE GUNS !!

    September 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • hairless ape

      Ahh, yes Dr. Mumbai we should hack each other to death with machetes or set trainloads of women and children afire the Indian way!

      September 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. gungho

    i like pink robe it feels so good

    September 6, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Carp

    Canada has more guns per person and less violent gun crime. Why is that? We are a more violent culture with lots more mix of people. I think we have more drugs here.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • conrad

      We have more economic uncertainty here ... when people are desperate and afraid they are more prone to criminality. It's a matter of survival. It's not as if people can go out and hunt rabbits or plant a garden to survive when living in the city.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • CDNin NYC

      Actually Canada has a lot of mixed cultures and violent ones at that. Difference here is that police are top of these criminals day in and out. NYPD waits until something happens. In Toronto they investigate and arrest first getting the illegal guns off the street.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matt

    People who think more gun laws are the answer are not thinking it through.

    Do they truly think someone who is contemplating committing murder is is really going to stop and say "oh, man, I can't kill that guy, because I would be breaking the law by having a gun"?


    Criminals, by definition, don't obey the law......

    September 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Fasmustang

    So apparently gun control does not work. Why do we keep saying it does? When a criminal knows their target is not armed, it makes it easy. They might not be attacking them if they might get shot back.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hotter

      Yes, this one weekend proves whether or not gun control works. Genius.

      September 6, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
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