Eight people were injured or killed in seven separate shootings that left East Flatbush covered in gun smoke and shell casings last week.
Officials said that the 67th Precinct was averaging one shooting a day between September 21 and September 27.
Neighborhood gang rivalry as well as the drug trade was responsible for several of the incidents %u2013 four of which took place over the weekend, said sources.
The only fatal shooting took place on Wednesday when 21-year-old Nicholas Johnson was shot in the head near the corner of Church and Troy Avenues at 6:45 p.m.
His killer was still at large as this paper went to press.
So was the unhinged gunman who opened fire on a woman sitting inside a car idling at the corner of East 96th Street and East New York Avenue, said police. As of this writing, the young victim was fighting for her life at an area hospital. Detectives were still trying to determine just why she was targeted.
Investigators said that they responded to the hospital on two occasions over the past week to interview shooting victims. One of the men claimed he was shot in the foot during a robbery on East 96th Street and Church Avenue. The second man, the last to be shot in a week of bloodshed, said he was shot on East 23rd Street near Foster Avenue Sunday during a confrontation with an armed mugger.
Rolls of yellow crime scene tape were also used to off portions of Church Avenue and East 95th Street, where a party there ended in bloodshed.
The violence continued on early Saturday morning when a gunman opened fire on four people on Rogers Avenue and Lenox Road. Two people were wounded in that shooting, which police believe was gang related.
Most of the victims were young, save for the 50-year-old who was shot during a robbery inside his apartment on Rockaway Parkway near Rutland Road, although police believe that the victim, who is a known neighborhood narcotic dealer, was shot for his drugs.
Inspector Corey Pegues, the commanding officer of the 67th Precinct, said that he and his officers were doing everything in their power to “stem the tide” of violence that played out on neighborhood streets last week.
“We’re bringing in other units as well as cops from the narcotics and gang divisions,” he said. “They’re going to be out there helping us.”
In an ironic twist, none of these shootings took place in the precinct’s Impact Zone %u2013 a section of streets in East Flatbush designated as a high-crime area and flooded with cops.
Officials said that Impact Zone officers can’t be used to patrol the other streets in the command unless 1 Police Plaza approves it.
“We’re using every resource at our disposal to bring down the violence %u2013 including the community,” Pegues said as he planned to speak to residents in a building where one of last week’s shootings took place and ask potential witnesses to come forward.
“[The community] is our second set of eyes, especially in these cases,” he said. “They’re the 12th man on our football team. They can help us by calling 311, leaving tips anonymously at the precinct or at local meetings. They can also utilize one of our programs and bring in some of the guns that are out there.”
Last week’s bullet-fest brought the number of shootings in the 67th Precinct this year to 54 %u2013seven more than the 47 reported at the same time last year. Homicide numbers are also up, from 13 last year to 14.
It’s not believed that the precinct will come in under the 62 shootings filed last year %u2013 a precinct record.
Anyone with information regarding any of last week’s incidents is urged to come forward.
Calls can be made to the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.
©2009 Community News Group
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