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.

Post by:
Filed under: Crime • New York
soundoff (540 Responses)
  1. ron

    We want Rudy Giuliani back.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Creamer

      Oh God, no we don't!

      September 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ricardo

      NYC its worse than Mexico in security.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • CDNin NYC

      Creamer, look at crime rates during Dinkins/Giuliani. Now look at the rates with Bloomberg.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BooJew

    I think some of those bullets that were shot in the air in Libya finally came down. That's where the bullets came from...

    September 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jazzzzzzzz

    no, But God can, If he listens

    September 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Danny

    Americans love their guns. Do you realize how stupid you look to the rest of the civilized world?

    September 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • LDOP

      hush or they will shoot u

      September 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • dude

      The civilized world like Brittain, where gun violence is at an all time high - even though they are illegal?

      September 6, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • dont be a sucker

      Switzerland has guns in pretty much every home...they love their guns...are they "uncivilized" ?

      September 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • zachisright

      gun control laws for the most part do not prevent crime, they only leave law abiding citizens vulnerable to criminals who will own guns either way.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judy

      The "bad guys" will always have guns!!! Gun Control for the "good guys" is NOT an option!

      September 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • deathwombat

      @dude: And they still have a faction of the gun homicide rate of the US. I only wish the US gun crime rate was at the UK's all-time high.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. FauxNews

    48 shootings and only 3 died? Those shootings ARE terrible.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Patrick

    You see, that's the problem w/ the gun lobby. I am a gun owner. For every level headed, responsible gun owner, there are 100 kooks setting us back 100 years w/ their wild-eyed anti-gun control rhetoric, a la Ted Nugent & Charlton Heston. What on earth was the NRA thinking when the appointed crazy Charlie Heston to represent them? You need representation from intelligent people who can actually defend the cause w/o sounding like a friggin lunatic. I think the problem originates in the fact that there are more stringent mental evaluations for police officers that there are for the general public before you can handle a weapon. How can the application process for a handgun simply be based on the applicant being left to their own devices to answer all the questions truthfully? A simple background check is not enough because there are a lot of kooks out there w/ no criminal record. The application process should go hand in hand w/ an evaluation from 1 or 2 psychiatric professionals, as well as a hearing in front of a panel of people whose sole purpose is to listen to firearm application cases. The applicant should have to plead thier case in person to this board and be subject to their scrutiny and final decision. Although this would make the process a lot more involved, not only would it eliminate a lot of idiots owning firearms, it would also cut down on the number of applications. Once certain people see how invasive the process is, it would certainly dissuade a lot of people who would have pursued the less stringent process. I'm sure there a lot of people applying for permits who are perfectly aware that if the person making the final decision met them in person, they wouldn't have a chance in hell to obtain that permit. Make the application process more stringent.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • rmr797

      Dude, the people behind these shootings don't go apply for a gun. They buy them off the street or steal them from others.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • MB

      Ridiculous, one more government agency, no thanks! We have a few kooks slip through the cracks but they are no match for the criminals and amount of illegal guns they posses.

      Live Free or Die, nNo Exceptions!

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

      And the first 2 kooks jump up w/ their hands held high and proud. Trust me when I tell you that there are plenty of kooks w/ registered weapons. Also, a lot of the guns on the street are bought down south through legal means. Not all weapons used in crimes are stolen ones. MB, Live free or die? Easy to say until your mother is the one dying because some imbecile slipped through the cracks. You're living in the USA....YOU ARE FREE YOU DONKEY....And free to kill yourself as well.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • rmr797

      See? There you go with your temper and name calling. Tsk. Why are men with guns such hotheads? Not to mention how judgemental they are. Like freakin' cartoon characters. But more dangerous.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      I'm also a gun owner and agree in principle with what you say regarding the misperception of gun owners by the anti-gun lobby and "man on the street".

      That said, the process in MA *does* include a face to face assessment of each license applicant by the local police department and I expect most states with large urban populations and gun licensing laws do the same.

      The problem is NOT licensed gun owners, but rather the criminals who take advantage of the millions of black-market guns out there. The criminals and those who sell weapons to them should be punished, while private LEGAL ownership should be encouraged as a deterrent to the criminal element that exists in every society.

      America's problem is not guns, but rather lawlessness due to a plethora of complicated social problems. Guns are just a tool of these societal ills and making them more difficult for law-abiding citizens to own will not solve (and never has solved) the problem of violence.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      rmr....Speaking of cartoon characters, anyone who uses DUDE in their language should not expect to be taken seriously. And you're right, I am angry. I am a fist pounding proponent for keeping guns out of the hands of morons. I am angry that responsible gun owners have to listen to imbeciles like you because of a small percentage of criminals opt to use guns for anything but recreational or professional purposes. Unlike trolls like you, my anger is directed at who it's intended for. And trust me when I tell you, I am as dangerous w/o a firearm. I am a trained killer. It's morons like yourself who end up getting shot while trying to be all smart alecky running your mouth off to some street thug w/ a gun. Don't be so quick to blame men for all the world's ills. You sure do love us when we've got your knees pinned behind your ears putting a good pounding on you, eh? Stick to the Cosmo bulletin boards woman.

      September 6, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tracy

      100% yes, Patrick. My thoughts as well.

      September 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CDNin NYC

    Giuliani had this mess cleaned up. Now Bloomberg is reversing it all. NYPD is lazy! I notice how backwards they are. They are reactive as opposed to reactive. I'm from Toronto and we have barely any gun crime. This is because on a weekly basis you see people getting arrested in raids and hundreds of illegal guns being taken off the streets. NYPD needs to step up and start tracking these criminals and get the illegal guns out. More gun control isn't the answer, working to get the criminals out is.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • zachisright

      amen brotha

      September 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      Hear hear!

      September 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mark

    See strict gun laws work...

    "As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives [only] moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion to your walks."

    Thomas Jefferson,

    September 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MB

    So much for the strictest gun control in the country…

    September 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • shannon bednars

      Gun violence will always be high when the public can't carry a weapon and shoot back.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Smackback

    Redeploy returning military into our cities and eliminate this growing problem. Blasting Taliban out of Afghan caves will be likened to cleaning up our urban centers.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    Wait! This is impossible. NYC has some of the strictest gun laws in the whole country. It is virtually impossible for a law abiding citizen to get a handgun permit there. This is impossible – it could not have happened. Or wait – maybe it is possible. But one would have to believe that gun laws only effect law abiding people. WOW. That dip . . stick, Bloomberg is probably blowing a gasket over this. Makes me smile to think that.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dude

    Obviously gun laws aren't the answer. "This is a national problem requiring national leadership." No. It isn't a national problem. In fact, many states where guns are a part of life do not have any problem with gun violence.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. vinny

    Strictest gun laws in the country and then 48 shootings in one weekend. Maybe people will see that the liberal idea of ban anything and everything doesnt work. The city is over crowded with undesireables. Same problem in Chicago and LA.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Timothy Ryan Richardson

    I believe that is very sad how so much violence has come to America. We can blame Heat Waves, United States Economy, or anything else. But we Christians know the real reason. As you look at America, Darkness has seemed to increase through the Nations. Not only America, but every Nation in the World. I don't think that's a coincidence.
    As you look at our Nations, we have kicked the Light out of it. We have taken our Lord Jesus Christ out of our Nations, Jesus was the Light. When you take the Light out of the World, Darkness overcomes. Until we bring back the Light, it's going to get worse. That's where we need to start Praying harder and not give up. We must bring our Lord Jesus Christ back as the Corner Stone of our Nations. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

    September 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      You mean like he was during slavery? or trail of tears? or Jim Crow? That time when jesus was forefront in the US?

      September 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • rahul

      A government with religion at its center has never in the history of the world been violent. ever. didn't you know?

      September 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • wsj

      You know, if you would just get a job and pay your electric bill, the light you are looking for will come back on. You don't need Jesus for that.

      September 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ME

    Way to try and pass the buck, Mayor Bloomberg. If violent crime is down all over, but up in New York, how do you tie that to Washington not doing enough? Sounds like New York needs to take a shot (no pun intended) at fixing their own issues, as is the rest of the country.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21