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9:37 PM EDT, July 9, 2012
BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, BROOKLYN (PIX11)
People who fight crime are hoping that now that the temperature has lowered somewhat in New York City, deadly crime will as well, following a week that saw a dramatic spike in murders and attempted murders using a variety of weapons.
Of the more than two dozen fatal or potentially fatal crimes that took place in the last week, probably the most unsettling was a shooting at the Roosevelt Houses public housing project on Sunday. A three year-old playing in a sprinkler got caught in the crossfire when at least three young men attempted to shoot and kill a rival during a dice game.
The toddler, Isaiah Gonzalez, took a bullet fragment to the leg from the shooting. His father, Jose Rivera, told PIX11 News that his son seems fine despite what happened. Rivera chose to not make a formal statement about the incident, instead leaving the raw emotion of the situation to be expressed by a local community activist.
"I'm upset over the fact that these guys would open up when there's kids just trying to get out of the heat at a playground and they get shot at," Central Brooklyn advocate Tony Herbert said. "This is ridiculous."
Herbert spoke with PIX11 about the shooting when he met with police officials at the 81st precinct Monday afternoon. Police sources there said that they had in custody a suspect, Stanley Williams, 20, who fled the scene on Sunday in a new, silver Nissan sedan and was caught when he crashed it after driving away. Two other young men were with him and fled on foot, but as of Monday night, at least one of them may be in custody as well. Law enforcement sources tell PIX11 News that Williams may be the son of a New York City corrections officer.
The shooting of the toddler in Bed-Stuy was part of a larger trend of violence that came to a close with one of the most violent weekends the city has seen in some time. Early Monday morning, at 2:00, somebody shot and killed a 19 year-old man in front of the Chelsea Houses housing project on the West Side of Manhattan. Police still look for suspects in that case.
They're also on the hunt for whoever was behind a brutal triple-fatal shooting in Springfield Gardens, Queens. Around 5 A.M. Saturday, somebody opened fire with an AK-47 machine gun, popping off 63 rounds of bullets into four men, three of whom died. Witnesses tell investigators that the bloodbath may have been due to the gunman not being able to handle jealousy over a woman the victims had made comments about.
In all, the weekend saw 24 people shot at 16 different scenes citywide. In addition, 11 people were victims of stabbings or slashings with knives. Two of them died.
The mayor's office has pointed out that the overall crime rate in the city has fallen over the last four years. However, last week, which coincided with a near-100-degree heatwave, was hazardous.
The family of three year-old Isaiah Gonzalez was slated to meet with Mayor Bloomberg at Kings County Hospital, where their son is recovering,, There are as yet unfounded rumors that there's a chance the boy's leg may have to be amputated. Exactly what they will say to the mayor in the privacy of a hospital room may never be known, based on the privacy request that the family has made to media outlets.
However, they may again express feelings similar to those voiced by community activist Tony Herbert, who says he is not necessarily in favor of the NYPD practice of stopping and frisking young people. Still, he said on Monday, in the wake of the toddler having to recover from a bullet wound, "Had there been a stop and frisk in this community, we probably would've stopped this three year-old from getting shot."
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