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. Guy

    This just proves that NY's ridicules gun laws do not do anything to deter criminals from possessing and using firearms. It only harms the law abiding citizens that desire to defend themselves from the criminals.

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

    guns dont kill people. people kill people.

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

      And they do it with kitchen knives, baseball bats, bricks and stones, fists, chemicals, and a myriad of other methods. You can't wrap society and everything in it in protective foam to render it harmless to lifeforms.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Guy

    Wake up America! This just proves that NY's ridicules gun laws do not do anything to deter criminals from possessing and using firearms. It only harms the law abiding citizens that desire to defend themselves from the criminals.

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

    Mike- I own a gun – don't make me come over there and hit you with it! I don't have my license yet, so I can't shoot it according to the law.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Maggie

    I think they just made up for the day the storm hit the City. I was born and raised in NYC and even tho danger lurks around every single corner of the City that never sleeps, it's still the best place in the world and perincito I agree with you, We are hard working, good and honest despite what others want to believe about us. It's not the "city" that has the problem it's really some of the idiots that live in it. I make a point of going home once a year for the sites and sounds of NYC. If I hadn't gone into the Air Force I'd still be there. But, military life called.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Allen Roundtree

    Are we gonna point the fingure at guns, because I have guns all over my house and they don't kill nothing. They just sit there and collect dust. How about we do something about the people using these guns to kill people. Our court systems let out criminals who continualy break the law. Fix the real problem! PEOPLE!!!!!!!

    September 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • duke5343

      Watch the Logic, most people DONT understand educated statements

      September 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tired


    September 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Life Long East Coaster

    I've lived my entire life up and down the East Coast. From Florida to New Hampshire. The problem in NY isn't a lack of gun control or help from Washington. Its a lack of people control and the prevailing "Thug Lifestyle", that many in NY take pride in.

    NYC has some of the most strict gun laws in the nation, and some of the worst violent crimes in the US. The fact that the rest of the country has seen violence go down, while NY sees it going up, says more about NY then it does about national gun laws.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      @Life Long East Coaster, you seem not to be aware that crime in NYC is significantly down from years ago, and that the computer aided crime tracking system they use has been a model for other cities in the country, and that NYC is one of the safest large cities in the country. The murder rate in 2007, for example, was the lowest since 1963.

      It's easy to trash the city when you don't have to rely on facts.


      September 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Oh come on, people don't want the truth. Lawmakers, politicians just want to be PC and say oooooo see see gun control gun control neverminding the fact it is gang control gang control instead.

      They cannot control the gangs so they would rather control guns which then means law abiding people with legal, registered guns get slapped.

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

      Guns do not kill people, the person pulling the trigger does and if that person wants someone dead bad enough they are going to get a gun one way or another regardless of laws aganist guns.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • mr

      as most politicians do....if you can't do anything, make it look like you're doing something. I agree. stricter gun laws probably won't change any of this by much. it's not the legal gun carriers that are commiting these crimes. In fact, sometime last year or two years ago, Mr. Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan DA passed a law that essentally redefined the term 'gravity knife', and made it illegal to carry any pocket knife which locks in place when fully opened. the knife need not be spring loaded. A few retailers were even forced to pay hefty fines for stocking and selling such items after the law was passed. there were quite a few cases of construction men being arrested and charged. the reasoning behind this was to reduce the violent crimes in which a stabbing has occurred. i live in buffalo, NY, so i probably shouldn't care. However, I have been an avid knife collector for aobut 7 years now. I buy and collect high quality outdoor and survival knives online that can't normally be bought retail. the problem is that most of the online retailers refuse to now ship to NY state at all now because Vance's office issued an official statement that's essentially a threat for these retailers. i don't have a "big brother" problem, and i don't commit violent crimes with the knives i own. I would be willing to bet that the stabbings are being done using $6 steak knives that I can buy at walmart and not by a $300-$500 high quality knife. i also seriously doubt that any more than 1-2% of shooting crimes occur using firearms which have been obtained legally. just annoying is all...lol http://www.kniferights.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=113&Itemid=1 .

      September 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Nick

    Criminals will always have guns no matter how many laws you throw at them. I wish people would realize that. The only way to get rid of the problem is collect every single gun and destroy it. That is impossible.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • brooklynmc

      Where do you suppose the guns will come from if they are not coming from America?

      September 6, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • John K

      America is the only country that makes handguns?

      September 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe B-b-b-b-bob

      That's not true. In countries where handguns especially are far more strictly controlled, not all the criminals have guns, those that do aren't so flash with them, ergo, far fewer shootings.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tired

    "New York has strict gun laws".....gun control only removes guns from the hands of law-abiding citizens. The murderers and criminals will still get their guns illegally, same as today.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dont be a sucker

    Anyone remember the stories out of China (no guns at all for anyone other than the military) where men were losing their minds and killing preschool kids with meat axes ? ? ?

    Ahhh how easily we forget...or turn a blind eye

    People with scrambled gray matter can and will cause mass suffering if they see fit

    September 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe B-b-b-b-bob

      If the schoolchildren killers had had guns, think how many more of those urchins they could have gotten! Seriously, though, China's per capita mass killings are nothing like in the US. Yes, there are psychos everywhere - in the US they're given more chances than anywhere else to act out - and they do.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Going on a rampage with a knife or meat cleaver is wrong, but is still a lot easier to stop than someone on a rampage with an AK47 or Uzi sub-machine gun.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Guy

    CNN is editing comments here!

    September 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • dont be a sucker

      "Editing" ???

      HA !....they flat out don't let some get posted if it goes too far against their liberal agenda

      September 6, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • r-hope

      Not editing.. someone reported your post as 'abusive', that's how they get to remove your post.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chang

    Still a couple of Goodfellas in Jerz, besides its too easy to down Jersey...regardless. The current gun laws need to be rehashed although they are pretty strict in NYC, but still "illegal" guns exsist and will be, ask Plaxico. Instead of Going after the guns, go after bullets, ban bullets. Have a record and caught with ammo much less a gun give'em 10 yrs per bullet. Still that won't erase the problem but it might save a couple lives of innocent women and children that got stung by "mistake" this or any random weekend. But the REAL problem with people who must have guns to solve a problem is that their scared in some way, desperate, or not all there in the head maybe all three. Be alert...

    September 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Glades2

    What do we expect in a world where God is often hated and darkness embraced?

    September 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Ummm, yeah..... a quick trip to ground zero will show you what happens when god is "loved" a little too much.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • StClown

      I don't know? What do we do when people use God as their reason for committing murders? (Don't even pretend you can't think of any examples throughout the last 50 years.) We prosecute them – if we can find them.

      September 6, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Gene

    But, looking on the bright side, thanks to nanny Bloomberg, their salt intake is well below normal.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
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