Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday offered a hefty dose of frustration but no solutions to a gun violence surge he acknowledged will likely continue for the rest of the year, following the shocking murder of a 10-year-old boy in Queens over the weekend.
“We are doing everything we can here in this city, but we need help,” de Blasio said, throwing up his hands during his daily virtual press conference. “We need help from the federal government, we need help from the state government.”
“It’s not acceptable, it has to stop. It has to stop. It’s going to take … so much work, because it has to stop, because this is not a way for us to live.”
But while the mayor was joined at the briefing by an equally frustrated Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, who likewise had no answers, city Police Commissioner Dermot Shea was once again absent from the public safety-heavy press conference.
Between May 3 and May 30, the city saw 150 shootings, compared to 57 in 2019 and 91 in 2020, according to NYPD data — a 163 percent rise over two years.
To stop the scourge of gun violence, de Blasio put forward federal and state-level proposals on gun control and parolees — but said nothing of consequence about how to get guns off the street. There is also no indication the Queens murder of the boy has anything to do with parolees or recidivists.
Meanwhile, the mayor predicted the coming summer will be a bloody one.
“For the rest of the year, we’re going to be dealing with a major challenge,” de Blasio said.
On Saturday, Justin Wallace was shot dead by a man who the child’s father suspects fired the shots over a yearlong dispute over a shared Far Rockaway driveway. The killer walked on the sidewalk in front of a home on Beach 45th Street about 9:30 p.m., and fired eight rounds at the house, shocking video of the shooting shows.
“It was just the most painful thing. It’s horrible,” said de Blasio. “A 10-year-old child should be alive today, should be in school right now, killed by a cowardly, horrible human being who fired shots just randomly into a home.
“The pain that Justin’s parents are feeling right now, no parent should ever go through that.”