NEW YORK – A wave of violence swept New York City over the weekend as at least 20 people were shot, four of them fatally, authorities said Monday.
The shootings, which included the separate woundings of 10- and 12-year-old boys, made for the third weekend in June that at least a dozen people were shot, police said. In the last week of June, 35 people were shot, down from 39 gunshot victims the same week a year ago, according to New York Police Department statistics. A breakdown between those killed and those wounded was not immediately available.
The police had earlier said 21 people were shot over the weekend but questions have arisen over whether one of the victims had been shot prior to the weekend.
This year, 611 people have been shot in the city compared with 554 for the same period last year.
“We’ve had an increase, a temporary increase, in shootings,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said. “Crime goes up, it goes down.”
After a crime drop in recent years, the spate of violence has raised alarms.
The bloodshed spilled into Monday, when a man demanding a job at an iron works opened fire and wounded two employees, police said. He kept officers at bay for two hours before turning killing himself.
Bratton said more than 1,000 young graduates of the city’s police academy will soon be hitting city streets, partnering with veteran officers in the most violent, crime-ridden neighbourhoods.
© 2014 The Canadian Press