Tuesday, 29 Sep 2020

6-Year-Old and 4 Others Are Shot at J’Ouvert Celebration in Brooklyn

The boy’s wounds were not life-threatening, officials said, but the violence once again marred the pre-dawn West Indian American Day celebration.

By Alan Feuer

Five people, including a 6-year-old boy, were shot early Monday at an unofficial celebration of J’Ouvert, a daybreak event in Brooklyn that typically marks the start of Carnival in Caribbean cultures, but was canceled this year because of the coronavirus.

The gunfire erupted shortly before 3 a.m. at the crowded intersection of Nostrand Avenue and Crown Street in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, according to the police. The boy was shot in his left leg and taken to King County Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the police said. Three men — all adults — and a 47-year-old woman were also shot in either their feet or legs and were hospitalized.

Investigators remained uncertain on Monday about how many shooters were involved. Terence A. Monahan, chief of detectives of the New York Police Department, said on Twitter on Monday morning that two men had been arrested in connection with the shootings and that two guns had been recovered. Chief Monahan added that the investigation was “in its early stages and is ongoing.”

At tonight’s senseless shooting in Brooklyn where five people were shot, officers also arrested two men — and recovered two guns. The investigation is in its early stages and is ongoing. We’re asking anyone with information to contact @NYPDTips at #800577TIPS. pic.twitter.com/ChjdMlurj3

J’Ouvert is traditionally held in the early morning hours before Brooklyn’s West Indian American Day Parade, a pageant of colorful Caribbean costumes and food that goes up and down Eastern Parkway. This year, however, both the pre-dawn festival and the parade itself were canceled because of safety measures banning groups of more than 50 people during the pandemic.

The shootings came amid a citywide spike in gun violence that has concerned the police and City Hall officials and has been seized upon by President Trump as part of his law-and-disorder re-election campaign. In August, according to police statistics, shootings in New York more than doubled over the same period last year and murders rose by nearly 50 percent.

On Thursday, police officials announced that they were going monitor the streets of central Brooklyn to ensure that informal parties were not held in place of J’Ouvert, which has struggled in recent years with gun violence, including a series of murders near the parade route.

In 2015, an aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was fatally shot in the crossfire between dueling gangs during the morning celebration, prompting outrage and a call for more security. The police responded by moving the start time of J’Ouvert to 6 a.m. from 4 a.m. and by installing metal detectors at checkpoints along the parade route.

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