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. Colin in Florida

    New York City has some of the strictest gun control laws, yet they had a lot of shootings. Ipso facto, strict gun controls don't work. Since it's already illegal to shoot someone, plus most of the shootings were (probably) with illegal guns, adding more laws seems like a waste of time.

    PS I am not an NRA member, nor do I own a handgun. I do own a couple of rifles I use for target shooting from time-to-time. I support the Second amendment, but also think the gun show loophole should be closed, at least for handguns.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. shawn

    Hmm, this is tragic, as is today's shootings in Nevada and some other shootings around the country. Why is it every time there is a shooting in Mexico, all the bigots come out of the wood work to rant about how horrible Mexico is when in fact I stand a better chance of being shot in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles than anywhere in Mexico. Ok, disagree and stay in el norte and I'll move to Mexico.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    Sounds like a war to me.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. katie w

    Wow and so many people talk up NYC like it's the best place in America! Whatever! While so many in this country are approaching the anniversary of 9/11 we have to hear about this BS. If the Judges would lock these losers up across this country we would all have a much better life. Build the prisons we need jobs anyway. These punks will keep up their crap until they understand that they are and WILL go to prison for a reasonable amount of time.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. perincito

    @ Chris, you ever been to New York? Maybe you should spread a little good will and NOT wish for ANY place to burn to the ground. There are plenty good, honest, hard working people in NYC who just want to live, dodging sideways bullet for bullet.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ptthhhh

    new york city is the safest major city in the country.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • dont be a sucker

      and exactly WHAT are you trolling for ?

      September 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian Young

      Yeah and im the POPE. NYC is the most unrully city on the planet. Its stinky, and full of dirtbags. Give a right to carry, and all of your problems are solved. Stuff like this doesnt happen in the south.

      September 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobbyganoosh

      Yeah, nothing like this happens in Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, New Oleans, and especially all of Florida.

      September 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • wsj

      You are right. Name a weekend where all of Florida has 48 shootings. To top it off, half of the state is from NY/NJ. So that doesn't help your case at all.

      Why don't you stick to solving the problems in your metro area and we will worry about our state?

      September 6, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nirvana

      Umm, New York has the lowest per capita murder rate of any major city in the country. You know nothing about NYC. Please stay in your red state.

      September 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • IrishYank2

      You clearly haven't spent much time in NYC then. Please stay in Charlotte and crack open another Busch Light, watch the skeeters get zapped. Thanks.

      September 6, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      New York City is much safer than any southern US City. The South is by far the most dangerous region of the US and NYC is the safest major city in the US. Look at some crime statistics before you make ignorant comments.

      September 6, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dtcpr

    1. NYC is not a total cesspool. The night of the evacuation from the storm there were only 45 arrests made. Bloomberg has really helped to clean up Manhattan, which i know is only 1 of 5 buroughs, but that is where the tourism money comes from and helps to pay to clean up the rest.

    2. they need to go after the gangs and drugs and the guns will follow, they are all connected.

    3.Gun laws are important it is completely ridiculous to think they aren't. Yes, people want what they can't have and neither extreme works, but there needs to be rules and regulations surrounding who can carry what. A nervous housewife with a firearm is dangerous too. With our economy just sitting and growing stagnant, people are losing hope and beocming desperate. Violent crimes will rise.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • duke5343

      #3 Gun laws HAVE NOT HELPED To stop or lower crime rate, in fact the toughest gun law cities have some of highest crime rates in USA
      #1 NYC is not a total cesspool as LONG as you got the money to live in safe area sure thing & when you dont guess what the CRIMINALS have the guns

      #2 They have been chasing the gangs for a 100 years- best thing to do is Legalize DOPE

      September 6, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • rosestool

      and hosewife on the street behind the steering wheel of her minivan is even more dangerious, i would rather ban them from driving. i live in brooklyn, i know.
      we dont need any more of gun control, these regulations will only stop honest people who dont want to go thru hassle of filling up mountains of paperwork. criminals will always find the way to arm themselves in spite all regualtions. because that's what criminals do, they do illegal stuff. ny mayor and whoever shares his view are delusional to think that strict gun control will stop violent crimes.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      I think one of the mayor's theories is that a number of the illegal guns possessed by criminals come from legally owned guns, and that if you cut down on the number of legal guns then there will be less guns for the criminals to steal and arm themsleves with. Personally, I think it's a rather silly concept, but that's about the only reason I can see for him taking the stance he has.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tracy

    We are telling our young people that they have no hope, prospects or future. We are telling them they are unworthy and not teaching them how to contribute to society. Then we tell them that personal expression & fulfillment can only come by buying things. and you wonder why we gave guns in the streets? We have a personal stake in teaching our young people (and ourselves) & our own future depends on our success.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tom C

    As a resident of NYC for 11 years, I have never once seen a crime in progress or heard a gunshot. None of my friends have ever been burglarized, mugged, or assaulted. I live in a middle-class coop apartment one neighborhood over from what is considered to be a high-crime area (Jamaica, Queens). Perhaps I am just lucky, but I wonder if 48 gunshots in a city of 8 million is particularly high...or not. The only crime I saw was the 9/11 attacks on the WTC, but then again, all New Yorkers experienced that.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cmon CNN

    Again, 48 shootings in a weekend may sound like a lot. However, CNN is missing even the basic data to be able to make any determinations about the true scope. First, does this "weekend" include 3 days instead of 2? What is the "average" number of shootings on any given weekend, and is that for a 2 day or 3 day weekend? What is the "average" number of shootings on Labor Day for previous years? What is the "average" number of shootings for any holiday weekend?

    Those basic questions should've been obvious to any "reporter". However, if "reporter" have only been taught in the style of sensationalism that is prevalent in today's media, then I shouldn't be too surprised, I suppose.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    It's Chris' fault – all of it!

    September 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chris

    No way Chris – it's your fault – every bit of it!

    September 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Hotness, 2:22 PM:
    I'm so sorry that you didn't visit New York, New York, when it was good.
    You don't really need to come here. What it was is gone.
    I wanted to live here from the time I was five years old. I moved here at twenty-two.
    It was wonderful then, except for a few areas that you knew not to visit.
    Now it has become what it is.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rightnyer

    Anyone who thinks that gun laws are the reason for violent crime in our inner cities or that stricter laws are the solution is an evil, leftist moron.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • duke5343

      Uneducated leftist maroon

      September 6, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rightnyer

      You're right duke, but uneducated, liberal, and moron all kind of go together.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Wait, I thought they were all elitist, science worshiping, latte sipping, Prius driving academics. No, wait maybe it was Jewish, African-American, vegetarian lesbians or maybe communist Muslims? Hold that thought. I'll go ask Glen Beck what I think.

      September 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mike

    Heck no Chris – you started it!

    September 6, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
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