There were two homicides on Sunday in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York, a sad sign that the struggles with gun violence that plagued the neighborhood last year are spilling over into 2021.
In the first, police responded to a 911 call reporting a man shot at approximately 12:30 am. They arrived to a first-floor apartment 373 Montauk Avenue to find a 24-year-old male unconscious and unresponsive, with multiple gunshot wounds to his torso.
The man was later identified as Shamel Harris, a 24-year-old who lived in Bedford-Stuyvesant. EMS pronounced Harris dead at the scene. According to The New York Post, Harris was a known gang member and was shot through the window of the Montauk Avenue apartment while attending a party there. An investigation is ongoing, and there are no arrests at this time.
In the second, police responded to another call at about 7:45 pm from 580 Stanley Avenue, a building in the Linden Houses complex. There, officers found 17-year-old Raymond Matthews unconscious and unresponsive, with multiple gunshot wounds to the chest.
EMS transported Matthews to Brookdale Hospital in Brownsville, where he was pronounced dead. In this case, too, there are no arrests and an investigation continues. Matthews lived at another building in the Linden Houses.
The 75th Precinct, which includes East New York and neighboring Cypress Hills, has struggled more than any other neighborhood with an increase in gun violence that emerged during the coronavirus pandemic. Gun violence has been a longstanding problem in several East Brooklyn neighborhoods, but in 2020 the number of shooting incidents jumped to 102 from 51 the previous year, according to police department data.Citywide, shootings nearly doubled last year compared to 2019.