by Tim McNicholas
CBS New York
JANUARY 19, 2023
NEW YORK — A look at gun violence in New York City shows a concerning pattern when it comes to kids.
Just this week, at least three NYPD investigations have linked guns to minors, and in some cases, they were arrested for violent crimes.
It’s a sign of a big problem that CBS2’s Tim McNicholas has been investigating for weeks.
Early Tuesday morning, an NYPD officer was shot in the Belmont Section of the Bronx. That officer was wheeled out of the hospital later that day, and a 16-year-old was charged with attempted murder.
Just a day later in Queens, a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old were shot outside a high school at 116th Avenue and Francis Lewis Boulevard. Police arrested a 13-year-old for the shooting.
Thursday morning, police say they found a loaded 22 caliber revolver in a 13-year-old’s backpack at the Academy for Personal Leadership and Excellence in the Bronx.
They’re the kind of stories David Caba is working to prevent with the anti-violence group BRAG, or Bronx Rises Against Gun Violence.
“It’s a horror,” Caba said. “We need more investment in more communities so that this doesn’t continue to happen and grow.”
City data shows it is growing.
The annual number of people under 18 shot across the city has more than doubled since 2019, and the number of kids committing shootings is also on the rise.
“Do you have an indication why it’s happening?” McNicholas asked Professor Jeffrey Butts, with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
“Well, we call this a seismic interruption in crime,” Butts said.
Butts points to the pandemic and its disruption of schools, family incomes, and mental health, all while gun purchases increased nationwide.
“So if you’re walking around with a gun in your pocket, already feeling stressed and not normal, little things that you would set off a conflict could turn into a firearm conflict rather than just a fist fight,” Butts said.
Whatever is driving the violence, Butts and Caba, along with just about everyone else in the city, hope to see violent crime overall drop back to the historic lows of 2017 and ’18.