Four shootings over the weekend killed one man and injured three others in Fort Greene, rocking a neighborhood that has largely, but not completely, shed a reputation for danger and crime.
The first shots were fired on Friday night and kept police on their toes until the last incident on Sunday night.
“It was very violent [because] there are just too many illegal guns on the street,” said Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Clinton Hill).
The spate of attacks was centered to an area around the public housing projects in the northern end of the neighborhood but spilled over into Fort Greene Park across Myrtle Avenue from the Walt Whitman Houses. Here are the gory details:
• A 23-year-old man was shot in both legs and his left hand while he stood inside the park at 11 pm on July 10. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital.
• A 38-year-old man died from a gunshot wound to the back of his head on Sunday at 3:44 am in the lobby of a building on Fleet Walk in the Ingersoll Houses.
• Later that morning at 11:45 am, a 29-year-old man was shot in the thigh by two gunmen near the corner of Park and N. Portland avenues. He was taken to Kings County Hospital.
• That night, at 11:30 pm, a shooter hit a 26-year-old man in the knee on Cumberland Walk. The victim limped to nearby Brooklyn Hospital.
No arrests had been made as of Tuesday afternoon.
The shootings went largely unnoticed in the media compared to the high-profile police fatal shooting on Sunday of Shem Walker, who fought with an undercover cop to get off his mother’s stoop on Lafayette Avenue in nearby Clinton Hill.
Police stats show that crime is down 77 percent since 1990 in the 88th Precinct, which includes Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.
But the numbers haven’t fully resonated with neighbors for whom the unsettling outburst of violence brought back memories of Fort Greene’s infamous heyday in the 1980s and 1990s when Myrtle Avenue was known as Murder Avenue.
“I’ve been here 20 years and I remember when it was real bad. It’s been getting better, but now, with this, I don’t know. It’s scary,” said Ali Mo, the owner of M&H Deli and Grocery on DeKalb Avenue. He said he’d heard customers talking about shootings.
Others speculated that the economic recession was a factor behind the crimes.
“Some of these people have literally nothing. The stress and tension and need erupts into violence,” said Arzal Smith.
James said she planned a meeting for Wednesday with church leaders and the New York City Housing Authority to discuss security.
©2009 Community News Group