After A Painfully Violent 2020, NYC Shootings Continue To Spike


MARCH 26, 2021

The country is reeling after a pair of tragic mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado, events that were quick to draw national headlines. Closer to home, a gun crisis continues to brew in New York City.

As of Sunday, 246 people had been shot across 220 different incidents since the beginning of 2021, up 40% from the same period in 2020 and a 66% rise from two years ago. The last time New York City saw this many shooting incidents by late March was in 2012. …

… Jeffrey Butts, the director of the Research & Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says the pandemic has exacerbated societal shortcomings that existed well before the health crisis. Drastic changes to life—such as rampant job loss—in the past year could have spurred the spike in gun violence—reversing consistent reductions in gun violence seen since the early 1990s when the number of shooting incidents reached more than 5,000. Last year, there were 1,531 shootings. Murders in 2021 are also down 24% relative to 11 years ago as of Sunday. Given the surge in violence is following a historically low era of crime, he cautions the upturn coincides with multiple crises.

“It’s concerning that our society is so fragile as to see this increase in shootings in such a short time period with the external shock of a pandemic,” Butts said. “Most people would agree that the pandemic has affected the fabric of our society and culture.”

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Delancey street shooting, February 16, 2021 STEVE SANCHEZ/PACIFIC PRESS/SHUTTERSTOCK