NYC shootings drop 35% in July, but gang violence still a problem

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea says the NYPD is pulling out all the stops in curbing violence committed by warring street gangs

By Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — The NYPD saw a 35% drop in shootings in July, despite the month ending with a violent gang-fueled Queens bloodbath that left 10 people wounded, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Tuesday.

“This is the second month in a row now where we’ve come down in shootings from last year,” Shea said on NY1. “(It’s) progress, that is exactly how I would categorize that, but it’s still way too high.”

As of Aug. 1, cops were battling a 15% increase in shootings, from 777 this time last year to 900. Out of this year’s shootings, 1,057 people were wounded, a 12% increase over last year, statistics show.

The victims include the 10 shot when a pair of gunman opened fired on a North Corona street on Saturday night, the last night of the month, police said. The gunmen, who fled the scene on scooters, were aiming at three Trinitarios members when they fired more than 40 shots. The seven others wounded, which included a 72-year-old woman, were collateral damage, cops said.

[READ: Making the case for single suspect gang crime]         

The NYPD on Tuesday offered a $10,000 reward for information that could lead to the arrest of the gunmen.

Shea said that the department is pulling out all the stops in curbing violence committed by warring street gangs and have made more than 2,660 gun arrests this year — a 44% jump when compared to last year.

But his detectives still need help from the courts and prosecutors to keep those committing these crimes in jail, the top cop said.

“Would the public be shocked to know that 99% of the people arrested for misdemeanors last year don’t go to jail or prison?” Shea said. “For felonies, it’s 93 and 92%. The criminals know this. Believe me they know. That’s the atmosphere.

“When you talk about precision policing, and we coined it, we need it up and down the system,” Shea said. “We can’t wait for people to shoot somebody to start prosecuting.”

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