Vicious streak Over 50 shot as NYC shootings rose above July fourth end of the week, NYPD information shows
In excess of 50 individuals were shot — something like seven of them lethally — during a horrendous episode of firearm savagery in the Big Apple over the Fourth of July weekend.
The casualties cut across a wide range of New Yorkers — from a couple of previous school rugby players injured while sitting in a taxi in Midtown to a darling 62-year-old Bronx area “granddad” who was gunned somewhere near stray shots.
On the whole, 51 individuals were shot in 36 separate episodes since Friday, a colossal leap from the 32 individuals shot in 27 shootings over the occasion end of the week last year, NYPD measurements show.
21 of the current year’s vacation end of the week casualties were shot on Monday’s 246th birthday celebration of American autonomy, including John Edwards, who was referred to in his Belmont area as the “Granddad of the Block.” By examination, there were 13 individuals shot on July 4, 2021.
“I knew him since I was 10,” Rachel Sanchez said of Edwards — who died in a friend’s arms after being mortally wounded by a stray bullet in Belmont around 10:30 p.m. on Monday.
“We are his family,” said Sanchez, 30, who grew up in the neighborhood and returned to pay her respects to Edwards, who was also known to locals as the “godfather” of the area, she said.
Neighbors said Edwards had tired of the rising crime in the Big Apple and had finally decided it was time to leave his beloved neighborhood — which is now devastated.
That terrifying incident — which sent bystanders running for cover — was later followed by the death of a 37-year-old man who was shot in the face and chest during a fight inside a bodega in East New York, Brooklyn.
In the Bronx, a 15-year-old boy was left splattered in blood — down to his sneakers — after he was shot in the right arm in the early hours of Saturday on Hughes Avenue and East 180th Street in East Tremont.
He was taken to Jacobi Hospital and was expected to recover.
The bloodshed continued Saturday afternoon, when a 19-year-old man was ambushed and shot off of a scooter in The Bronx.
Melvin Urena was shot multiple times and killed, police said.
Peggy Baerga, whose 24-year-old son, Justin, was fatally shot as he celebrated his birthday at an auto body shop in Queens Saturday night called on “justice” to be served.
“No one has the right to take another person’s life,” the heartbroken woman said. “I don’t think they think about that person’s family.”
Her son Justin Baerga was among four people shot inside 129-09 89 Avenue shortly after 9:30 p.m. — but the only one among them to die from his wounds.
“Justice needs to be served. It’s a cowardly act,” Peggy Baerga said. “I will never be the same again. They took my heart.”
Elsewhere in the five boroughs, an NYPD auxiliary sergeant was struck in the leg and robbed of his 2017 Kawasaki motorcycle early Saturday morning in the Bronx, while a city corrections officer was shot in Queens during a party at a motorcycle club.
Nine people were shot Sunday, compared to five on the same date last year. Saturday’s victims of gunfire totaled 16, double the number shot that day in 2021. And six people were shot Friday, the same number as last year.
On Monday evening, the boyfriend of an NYPD civilian employee was sitting in a car outside a chic Soho boutique when he was shot and wounded in a drive-by shooting.
Police said the 27-year-old victim was sitting in a gray Honda sedan outside Dior New York Soo on Greene Street when a BMW with New Jersey plates pulled up and opened fire, hitting him in the underarm.
Alexander Franklyn of Staten Island, whose 24-year-old son was one of the ex-rugby players wounded in the Manhattan cab shooting, bemoaned the spike in gunplay. “It’s getting out of hand,” Franklyn said. “You don’t seem to be safe anywhere.”
In a press conference in Queens Tuesday, Mayor Adams said the city has made some headway in reducing crime in the five boroughs — but has more to do.
“What crime is doing is it is overshadowing all that we’re doing,” Adams said. “We have some real W’s, and crime is the No. 1 issue on New Yorkers’ minds right now.
“Regardless of all the good stuff we’re doing, until we get crime under control, New Yorkers are going to feel we are not making progress, which we are,”
He said the city uptick in shootings is not unique to the five boroughs. “So, this national problem has played out on our streets,”
“We are making the right adjustments. We’re moving in the right direction and we’re going to win this battle.”
The weekend surge in gunplay comes on the heels of a US Supreme Court ruling that threw out a 100-year-old New York State law that required stringent guidelines to obtain a pistol permit in the state.
In response, state lawmakers passed new legislation that bars specific areas where concealed weapons may not be carried.
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