The mother, identified only as Nicole, said she lives near Prospect Park. She said she was outside with her 4-year-old son around 4 p.m. Tuesday when she heard shouting and gunshots.
“I know gun violence has increased in our area,” the woman said on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show.” “This is in broad daylight, four in the afternoon, and … I want to know, what’s being done? What’s being done? There were 40 police officers or more who covered our block for hours.”
She said “bullet casings” were discovered “right by” the place she was standing “in addition to other places on the block.”
The NYPD confirmed the shooting to Fox News. Police identified a male and female victim who are in stable condition, as well as three male suspects who “fled on foot in an unknown direction.”
De Blasio expressed remorse for the woman and confirmed that gun violence has risen in the city amid COVID-19.
Big Apple murders are up 19.5% year-to-date as of April 10, with 92 reported this year compared to the 77 from the same period in 2020, according to NYPD crime statistics.
The number of shootings rose 56% in 2021, with 268 reported as of April 10 compared to the 194 recorded shootings during the same time last year. Meanwhile, the number of shooting victims during that time period jumped 54%, from 177 in 2020 to 268 in 2021, police data shows.
“I think it comes back to this horrible combination of things we saw, you know, people didn’t have jobs, almost a million people lost their jobs, schools were closed, houses of worship were closed. Things really were falling apart,” the mayor said of pandemic-related impacts.
He added, however, that New York City is starting to see life return to normal as jobs return and said the city is investing in “community-based solutions to gun violence,” naming the city’s Cure Violence Movement and Crisis Management System initiatives as examples.
“And the NYPD also is taking more guns off the street now than it has literally in 25 years,” he said. “And there’s way too many guns in our society.”
Cure Violence is “an evidence-based violence prevention program that works with communities that have high levels of gun violence,” according to the city’s website. The initiative “leverages experiences of young men of color to act as ‘credible messengers’ of an anti-violence message, in order to prevent and reduce youth violence.”
The Crisis Management System “deploys teams of credible messengers who mediate conflicts on the street and connect high-risk individuals to services that can reduce the long-term risk of violence.”
The New York City Council voted in July to move $1 billion from the NYPD budget to education and social services.
Fox News’ Stephanie Pagnones contributed to this report.