Watch: NYPD releases footage of gunmen opening fire on three men as shootings spike in New York City

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NEW YORK, NY– The Fourth of July weekend brought more gun violence and bloodshed in New York City. Between midnight and 9 a.m. Sunday alone, there were 23 shootings with 41 victims.

Amongst these incidents, was a shooting that occurred on July 5th at 306 East 171 Street, in the Claremont neighborhood in the Bronx.

Two men were killed and a third was wounded in what police believe was a targeted attack on the victims. According to ABC7NY, the two men that were killed were 29-years-old and 23-years-old and a 22-year-old was shot in the leg.

New York Police Department (NYPD) detectives are actively looking for two gunmen who shot the three men. 

The shootings were captured on the apartment building’s security cameras and the video footage has since been released by the police department. On Monday, NYPD Chief of Detectives, Rodney Harrison posted the video on Twitter and asked anyone with any information about the murders to come forward. Below is the video posted by Harrison:

The video begins with three men walking in an apartment building hallway toward a stairwell. The first man to reach the top of the stairs suddenly turned and lunged back in the direct form which he had come.

The video then shows the friends also trying to flee, one of them knocking over the other one in their quest to reach the door of an apartment. 

It is unclear whether they were simply seeking safety or if any of them actually lived in the apartment, but the video does show all three men scrambling on top of each other to get inside the apartment as another man, in a white shirt appeared at the top of the stairs holding a gun.

The video shows a flash from the end of the man’s weapon as he fired in the direction of the three men scrambling to get into the apartment door. As this is happening, a second armed suspect appeared in the hallway beyond the staircase.

As the first shooter turns to leave and flees down the staircase, the second gunman, in a black sweatshirt, opened fired as he walked up the staircase and towards the three men in the doorway. The second gunman fired at least three times, once at close range before turning away and fleeing down the staircase towards the first gunman. 

NYPD officers responded to 911 calls about gunshots and upon arrival found two men dead in the apartment hallway and a third victim who suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.  The third victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment where he remains hospitalized. 

Currently, no arrests have been made in relation to this incident and the investigation is ongoing. Police have asked that anyone with information related to the shootings to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or Direct Message (DM) @NYPDTips.

One of the NYPD sources said that one of the men who was fatally shot had just been released from prison prior to the shooting. The July shootings come on the heels of an extremely violent June in the Big Apple.

According to authorities, there were a total of 205 shootings during the month of June, which makes it the bloodiest June in 24 years, going back to 1996 when the NYPD logged 236 incidents. 

In addition to the shootings over the holiday weekend, there were at least 13 reported stabbings across the city between 4 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. According to NBC New York, the spike in violence over the last few months caught the attention of President Donald Trump, who tweeted:

“Shootings up significantly in NYC were people are demanding that @NYGovCuomo & @NYCPayor act now. Federal government ready, willing, and able to help, if asked!”

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Below is a recent article by Law Enforcement Today related to the surge of gun violence and deadly shootings across NYC:

Report: Shootings up 142% and nearly all NYC June shooting victims were minorities

NEW YORK CITY, NY – In the growing violence in New York city over the past month, a growing trend emerged, the vast majority of those who were shot were minorities. 

NBC Investigative Reporter Tom Winters tweeted:

“Every single person who has been shot in New York City this July, nearly 100 in total, has been a member of the minority community and 97% of shooting victims in June were members of the city’s minority community, the NYPD says.” 

The violence that has taken hold of New York saw more lives taken over the holiday weekend.  NYPD reported a minimum of 42 people shot on Sunday alone, of those, 9 had died from their injuries. 

NYPD reports an overall increase from last year during this same time frame of more than 200%.  In stark contrast, the amount of arrests for gun and shooting violations are down by 62% from last year.

NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, blames the increase in violence on the release of prisoners from Rikers after the bail reform bill passed earlier this year and those being sent home early due to COVID-19.  Shea states:

“Look at the Rikers population of the last year…ask a sane person.  It’s about half.  Where is that other half right now?  We’ve transplanted general population to the streets of New York City, and it’s extremely frustrating.” 

While that may be part of the issue, the other part is a dramatic change in philosophy when it comes to policing.  Officers are feeling hesitant to enforce the law due to recent riots and protests around the country, specifically in New York. 

Chief of Department Terrence Monahan also believes the rise in violent crime comes from the lack of criminal prosecution for “quality-of-life” offenses, the anti-crime unit being disbanded, courts not being fully operational due to the pandemic, and media scrutiny over how police do their jobs. 

Monahan said that the anti-police protests and riots have “absolutely crushed the morale of our cops.”  Monahan continued:

“There are many reasons…I’ve said this before: The animosity against police out there is tremendous.” 

Mayor Bill de Blasio places the blame in the rise of violence on his own reasons.  In a Monday morning news conference, the Mayor said:

“It’s not because of one thing, let’s be really clear, there’s not one cause for something like this.  The court system is not functioning.  When our police effectuate an arrest, they don’t have the same follow through they’re used to seeing from the court system.” 

The Mayor’s blame of the court system did not sit well with the New York State courts.  Spokesperson Lucien Chalfen said that the Mayor’s blame was “absurd, patently false and ridiculous.” 

“The courts have operated continuously throughout the pandemic, arraigning defendants, holding hundreds of hearings, and conferencing thousands of cases.  He should be looking in the mirror, not gazing out a window,” Chalfen said in a direct jab at the Mayor.

Minorities were not the only target of gun violence this past holiday weekend.  In at least one incident, a marked NYPD police vehicle was shot when a round went through the windshield.  The two officers inside the vehicle received minor injuries.  It was unclear if they were targeted or if it was a stray round meant for someone else. 

The spike in gun violence has caught the attention of President Trump who has offered through a tweet to send federal authorities in to help calm the chaos.  The President said in a tweet:

“Chicago and New York City crime numbers are way up.  67 people shot in Chicago, 13 killed.  Shootings up significantly in NYC where people are demanding that @NYGovCuomo & @NYCMayor act now.  Federal Government ready, willing and able to help, if asked!”

In the meantime, former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who served as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first police commissioner, slammed city and state leaders Monday for abandoning cops and helping create a “crime virus” to go along with the coronavirus in claiming innocent victims.

In a radio interview with WABC-77, Bratton said:

“The city is a mess and it’s going to get a lot worse unfortunately. It’s a second storm. There’s the coronavirus that’s taking a lot of lives on the one hand and now the crime virus that will take a lot of lives on the other.”

Bratton surmised that the morale of New York’s Finest is at an all-time low after getting “attacked from all sides” and being “defunded and demeaned.” 

Bratton said:

“Even more troubling are the citizens who would normally cooperate with police to ferret out crime are not doing so because they feel intimidated by their neighbors who are protesting police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of cops in Minneapolis.”

Asked if he was disappointed with his former boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio agreeing to policies that will make it harder for the NYPD to tackle crime, including steep budget cuts, Bratton did not hold back:

“I’m disappointed with the whole political establishment here in the state, in Albany, and in the city. They have effectively, collectively, and individually turned their back in many respects on the entity that’s most responsible for the crime reduction in this city, state, and indeed the county–the police.”

Bratton was particularly baffled by City Hall’s sudden decision to reduce police manpower, noting the additional 1,300 police officers added under his watch bolstered neighborhood policing, which was broadly supported as a move to improve relationships between the police and the community. 

He said many Council members were too young to understand the fear of crime the gripped the city in the 1980s and early 1990s, when there were more than 2,000 murders a year.

While Bratton did not criticize de Blasio by name, he did not spare the City Council for pushing an agenda that he said catered to the “far left” and likened the legislative body to a “mob”:

“Most of them don’t know what they voted for. They’ve become a mob themselves in the sense of some of the legislation they’re passing. They should be ashamed of themselves.”

Bratton gave a critique of what’s contributed to the increase in shootings and crime, which he likened to a “perfect storm.”  Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature’s decision to pass an “ill-conceived” law to eliminate cash bail for many crimes before the pandemic hit is a very significant and driving force of the crime spike.

Bratton also said that “emptying” the state prisons and jails has put recidivist criminals out on the streets at a time when the court system is in “disarray” because of the coronavirus crisis, with delays in defendants being arraigned or indicted. Bratton said he’s very disappointed the city’s political leadership is “playing” to the demonstrators and not just the left, but the far left:

“It’s going to come back and eventually bite them all in the rear end. The City Council has spoken and now their constituents are going to be punished by rising crime and the ineffectiveness of government to control it.”

Bratton acknowledges the near impossible situation the country is going through as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to effect lives and livelihoods across the nation, but he remains hopeful:

“Literally you’d have to go back to the start of World War II or in the case of more contemporary history, September 11 to have had a time where we’ve been more at risk, in the sense of fear about the future. I’m an optimist and I’m very confident that we’ll get through this, but not without great cost.”

You want a great example?  Let’s flash back to this report from last month:

NEW YORK CITY, NY – It seems as though some recent, and expedited, releases from Rikers Island under the guise of COVID has shown a healthy return to custody. Apparently, 250 released convicts and accused criminals have already been rearrested 450 times.

Statistics from the NYPD revealed the alarming rate of alleged reoffending since Governor Cuomo decided to take drastic measures in the effort to enforce social distancing in the likes of jails and prisons. NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea commented on the move that lacks “common sense”:

“We’re continuing to see people get arrested over and over and let right back out. And it really defies common sense.”

Arrest data showed that about 2,500 people have been released from Rikers since the orders were delivered in March to start thinning out the jail population. Crime Control Strategies Chief Michael LiPetri noted that nearly 10% of that released population have been arrested 450 times.

Meaning those of that portion of the compassionate releases to help combat the spread of COVID wound up getting arrested again, nearly twice after that first release.

Of course, the fallout of these mass jail exoduses is likely going to be compounded further, with characters like Mayor Bill de Blasio edging to cut police funding.

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On June 7th, Mayor de Blasio said that he will partially defund the NYPD and will divert that money to provide support to youth and social services.

As New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio – who has long been no friend to police – promises to begin defunding the NYPD, there are rumblings that some of the “top cops” are considering throwing in the towel.

Mayor de Blasio also stated that he was putting an immediate end to the city’s 8 pm curfew, which was the first curfew the city had seen since 1943. The ending of that curfew was no cataclysmic action as the it only ended one day ahead of schedule. 

“We are committed to shifting resources,” de Blasio said,” according to a report by WPIX-11. “The investments in our youth are foundational.”

The defunding, the mayor claims, will not create an issue with increased safety risks to New Yorkers. Apparently less money being spent on salaries, training and equipment equates, which leads to fewer cops on the street, using outdated equipment and not being adequately trained, equates to safer citizens. 

Inside sources at NYPD tell Law Enforcement Today that Mayor de Blasio has been pushing NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea to come out publicly against officers being “too aggressive” against violent rioters – or “peaceful protesters”, as de Blasio would reportedly prefer they be referred to.

We’re told that Shea has been pushing back, and that as a result, his time may be short at NYPD.  The same goes for Chief of Department Terence A. Monahan.

Absolutely nothing has been confirmed – but suffice it to say that morale is arguably hitting new lows.

So aside from defunding police and also the ill-effects of the massive COVID releases, we’re als o seeing a new-era of alleged criminal releases in New York. 

A cop’s head was bashed wide open with a stolen glass bong.

It happened during violent protests in Manhattan.

And now a judge has released the alleged looter who did it, according to The New York Post.  

Judge Laurie Peterson overruled prosecutors and released a defendant without bail.

In that case, it allegedly led to a pair of unprovoked slashings by the guy who was released.

“What could she possibly be thinking? Is she living under a rock? Did she see the looting going on in the city?” a cop who worked in Manhattan every night of the recent riots told The Post.

“I guess they really want to do away with cops and let the criminals run wild.”

According to police, Kevin Bullock, 22, was one of the thieves who police say vandalized a smoke shop at the corner of Walker and Baxter streets shortly after 2 a.m. on June 1.

Police said that when an officer grabbed Bullock, one of the thieves, he hit the officer in the back of the head with a bong stolen from the store.

Bullock allegedly has a rap sheet listing 23 prior arrests, according to police.

They said he then shoved the cop and took off.

The officer was left with a bloody gash and a concussion.  After several days of recovering, he was placed on limited duty, the Post reported.

They were able to capture Bullock after pulling surveillance footage.  On Wednesday, NYPD’s Warrant Section tracked him down Wednesday at his apartment in Brooklyn.

The Post reported that they were able to arrest him, despite Bullock crawling out a window and jumping from a fire escape to try and get away.

According to court records, Bullock was charged with assault on a police officer, attempted assault with a weapon and burglary.

“This is a strong case, with clear video evidence, and he faces state prison time if convicted of these violent felonies,” a law enforcement source told The Post.

“Bail is the least restrictive means to ensure his return to court.”

On Thursday, Manhattan prosecutor Caitlin Naun laid out the evidence and asked for bail to be set at $25,000 cash or $75,000 bond.

He was instead released without bail pending another court appearance on Sept. 11, according to court records.

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