Shootings in New York City have skyrocketed more than 200% in recent weeks as a violent crime wave grips the nation's largest city.
According to the New York Post, citing police statistics, there were three times as many shootings in the Big Apple during the last two weeks of June as during the same time period in 2019.
There were 116 shooting incidents between June 15 and July 2 of this year, compared to just 38 during the same two-week period last year. In total, 157 New Yorkers were injured from gunfire, compared to just 57 last year during the same period.
According to the NYPD, last month was the deadliest and most violent June in 24 years, recording a total of 205 shooting incidents over the entire month.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed the soaring violence on the coronavirus.
"This is directly related to coronavirus," de Blasio said on Monday, Fox News reported. "This is a very serious situation. … As we're getting into warmer and warmer weather, we're feeling the effects of people being cooped up for months, the economy hasn't restarted — we have a real problem here."
However, Hazel Thomas — the mother of Jomo Glasgow, who was gunned down on June 17 — attributed the sharp increase of violence to the NYPD disbanding its "anti-crime" unit of plainclothes officers.
"They shouldn't have disbanded it," Thomas told the Post. "Whatever the problem they have, address it. But don't disband the unit. Many lives would have been saved. Not just my son."
The NYPD eliminated its controversial plainclothes units last month, impacting about 600 officers, in response to calls for police reform. The "anti-crime" units had been involved in a disproportionately high number of officer-involved shootings over the years.