By Hadassa Kalatizadeh
New York City murders are up almost 20 percent in 2021, compared to the same period last year. Shootings have risen close to 60 percent, as per the latest NYPD statistics. The most recent victim was a 12 year old boy, shot in the chest on Saturday night near Malcolm X Boulevard and Madison Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The boy is expected to recover.
The wounded boy’s grandmother echoed the thought that New York City has become a place to “kill or be killed”, as she told The NY Post. On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio was questioned at a press conference as to what was being done to improve safety for residents. His response was less than heartening.
“There are absolutely fresh approaches happening,” said Mayor de Blasio. “The NYPD is working closely with communities. We’re going to fight back with a lot of gun arrests.” Hizzoner did not offer any further details, nor did he mention the cutbacks for the NYPD. Instead, he continued to put the blame on the Coronavirus pandemic. “Getting the court system going, the economy going again, kids back in school … All of these things are going to turn the tide,’’ said de Blasio. “We will turn the tide. We have done it before. We will not accept violence in this city”.
As reported by the NY Post, the boy shot in Brooklyn was walking on the street a little before 10 P.M., when he heard gunfire and felt pain, police said. The boy ducked into a nearby liquor store, where the owner called 911. He was taken to Maimonides Medical Center and is recovering. Thankfully, he did not even need surgery because the bullet missed his organs and went through his body, sources said.
It was unclear if the victim was a bystander or had been targeted. Police now say that he was with a group of kids when they got into a fight with some older boys. The group was targeted in what is now being called a gang-related shooting. No arrests have been made yet in the ongoing investigation.
“The neighborhood is the neighborhood. It happens all the time,” said the wounded child’s grandmother, Evette Lilly. “Now in this city, it’s kill or be killed.” She told the Post on Sunday that her grandson is “just a normal kid who likes basketball,” adding that he is doing “OK.’’