A violent Labor Day weekend in New York City, in which a total of
48 67 people were shot, [UPDATE: The NYPD now confirms 67 people were shot in violence this weekend] culminated with a bloody shootout in Brooklyn Monday night that left two cops injured and three two people dead [see update below].
The incident started when Leroy Webster, 32 and Eusi Johnson, 29 got into a fistfight in an apartment building at the corner of Franklin Avenue and Park Place in Crown Heights around 9PM. The fight then spilled onto the street where Webster shot Johnson in the neck and killed him.
Police, of whom there were 600 in the neighborhood that day for the West Indian Day parade, responded and shot at Webster, who returned fire.
In the ensuing shootout, 90 rounds were discharged, a police source told The Huffington Post. Webster was shot several times
and died from his wounds. [UPDATE: Police initially said Wesbster had died but Commissioner Ray Kelly confirms that he is alive and in serious condition at Kings County Hospital]
According to The New York Post, a bullet grazed the left arm of Police Officer Avichaim Dicken, who was taken to Methodist Hospital. Officer Omar Medina, 36, was hit in the left arm and chest. Both officers are in stable condition.
56 year-old Denise Gay, who was sitting on a stoop talking to her daughter, was hit with a stray bullet in the head. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Violence marred the otherwise jubilant and colorful parade Monday, which was also the scene of fatal shootings in 2003 and 2005.
NBC New York reports that four people were shot and wounded along the parade route Monday and a 15-year-old boy was grazed by a bullet nearby.
A police source told HuffPo Monday night that people often use the parade as an opportunity to "settle scores".
City Councilwoman Letitia James, who went to the crime scene Monday night, said she and other city officials, along with community groups, are planning a press conference this week to address one of the bloodiest weekends in recent memory.
"This is our problem," she said.
On Sunday, Mayor Bloomberg, responding to news that 24 people had been shot within a 24 hour time span, said, "We cannot tolerate it. There are just too many guns on the streets and we have to do something about it."
That initial rash of violence began at 6AM Saturday morning when a 35-year-old woman was shot and wounded at Saratoga Ave. and Newport St. in Brooklyn.
According to The New York Daily News, during one 18-minute stretch between 2:12 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. Sunday, five men were shot in three separate incidents, including three wounded at a house on Beach Channel Drive in Rockaway Park, Queens.
Also on Sunday morning, at 6AM, police say Dasilva Oneil, 17, opened fire and wounded 8 people at a party in the Bronx.
Later that night, A 24-year-old man was shot in the head in front of the Unity Plaza Houses on Blake Ave. in Brownsville, Brooklyn, about 10PM Sunday, cops told The News. Donavan Dallison, of Crown Heights, died at the scene.
New York has the toughest gun laws in the country but Bloomberg said the city can't do it alone.
At a Tuesday morning press conference Bloomberg blamed Washington, saying "This is a national problem requiring national leadership," Bloomberg said, "but at the moment neither end of Pennsylvania Avenue has had the courage to take basic steps that would save lives."
Police sources told The New York Post they hadn't seen violence like this since New York City's crime heyday in the 1980s.
Overall, gun violence in the city is down 5.9% from last year. As of Aug. 28, 1,123 people had been shot in New York this year, according to the NYPD.