“It was a bad weekend, no question about that,” mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “There’s just too many guns on the streets of this city.”
The orgy of violence — which began Saturday with a string of shootings in Brooklyn — continued Monday as large numbers of people gathered for the West Indian Day Parade.
In all, nine of the weekend’s shooting victims were hit at or near the annual Caribbean-themed festival in Brooklyn. As the parade opened, a gunman fired into the air only blocks from where Bloomberg himself had just begun marching. Police detained the man.
The parade had gotten off to a rocky start at 6:00am local time, when a nearby McDonald’s — packed with 100 early risers prepping for the festivities — was the site of a senseless shooting.
A customer Kenneth Beggs, 44, bumped into a man entering the eatery and apologized.
But Anthony Carruthers, 28, allegedly refused to let the incident go and pumped bullets into Beggs’ legs.
Tempers flared after the parade ended, as well, with one reveler shot in front of a crowd. A group of six or seven men had pummeled the victim on the ground and then an attacker pulled out a handgun and shot him in the leg.
Three people died and two New York City police officers were injured hours later when two men exchanged fire in Crown Heights. One of the fatalities was a female bystander.
The shocking 72-hour shooting tally came as police revealed that the number of people who took a bullet in the past week had skyrocketed.
For the week ending Sunday, 98 people had been shot — nearly twice the 53 shot during the same week last year, the NYPD said.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that although the number of shootings so far this year is fewer when compared to a decade ago, the spree of gunfire over the weekend is “obviously… cause for concern.”
“We’re doing everything we can do,” Kelly added, citing the NYPD’s shifting of resources to target guns on the streets, including boosting overtime.
Police announced late Monday that they had nabbed a suspect in another case, in which eight people were shot Saturday night in The Bronx.
The man and a rival are suspected of engaging in a shootout that wounded the victims — including 11-year-old Shaquan Walters — at a house party early Sunday.
The man, Phillip Muir, 21, was caught at 2:15am by the NYPD during a car stop.
The other alleged shooter, 17-year-old Oneil DaSilva of Mount Vernon, remains at large.