NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Gun violence has taken the life of a 1-year-old boy in Brooklyn.
Police said two men walked up and opened fire on a cookout near Raymond Bush Playground at Madison Street and Marcus Garvey Boulevard in Bedford-Stuyvesant around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, killing the 1-year-old boy, identified as Davell Gardner, and wounding three men.
No arrests have been made.
"To wake up this morning and learn that a 1-year-old child was killed on the streets of our city by gunfire is just so painful, it's not acceptable, it's not something we could ever look away from. It's something we have to address and stop. It's just horrifying," Mayor Bill de Blasio said before holding a moment of silence for the young victim during his daily briefing Monday. "It's heartbreaking and it begins with the fact there are just so many guns out there and that is a New York tragedy and a national tragedy... we can't let this happen in our city."
De Blasio says it's never just about police, it has to be community and police together.
This recent wave of shootings follows the disbanding of the NYPD’s Anti-Crime Unit – which consisted of 600 plainclothes focused on getting illegal guns off the streets.
The mayor insists that NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea thought that work could be done in a different and better way.
“A way that uses modern technology, a way that uses the skills of officers to achieve the same outcomes, to get those guns of the street, but in ways that also don't disrupt the relationship between police and community,” he said
He says the people of each neighborhood are allies in the effort to seize the guns.
The baby was one of three children shot in New York City in the past 24 hours.
Also on Sunday night, a 12-year-old boy was shot in the leg in Crown Heights.
A 15-year-old was shot in the wrist near 143rd Street in Harlem. Just the night before Mayor Bill de Blasio was in that neighborhood promoting a community initiative to have clergy on street corners trying to mediate disputes and end gun violence.
Since Friday, the city recorded nearly 30 shootings with more than 30 victims.
It is the fourth week of increased violence in New York City following protests against police brutality and the disbanding of the NYPD's undercover units that targeted illegal guns on the streets.
The police commissioner believes too many violent criminals are back on the streets due to bail reform and early release from Rikers Island because of COVID. So far the city has not released data to support those claims. A recent analysis of NYPD data by the New York Post also disputed those claims.
De Blasio believes the surge in gun violence is a much more complicated issue.