A 20-year-old mother was murdered late Wednesday in New York City’s Upper East Side as she was pushing her baby stroller past a park brimming with children.
A male gunman wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants approached the woman around 8:23 pm and “fired a single shot into her head from a very close range,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at a press conference later that evening.
The shooter than fled on foot down 95th Street and remained at large as of Thursday morning. The mother meanwhile was transported to a hospital and pronounced dead roughly an hour later. Her 3-month-old baby was unharmed, according to Sewell.
The shooting was witnessed by a number of the children at Samuel Seabury Playground, which reportedly lies across the street from where the shooting occurred.
One 10-year-old girl told the Daily Mail that she heard an “extremely loud boom” and then saw the victim tumble to the ground.
“I was really confused because I thought maybe this was fireworks, but then I realized that no, this is serious and that there was a gunshot,” the girl said.
“And it really frightened me because I was right there at the park playing, and I never would have ever thought that would happen. I saw a lot of people running, and I saw a woman down there, she fell.”
The motive of the shooting remains unknown. Some suspect domestic violence may have been at play, but this remains unconfirmed.
“We can’t confirm that at this time, it’s under investigation,” Sewell told reporters when asked whether she suspects the shooter was the baby’s father.
After Sewell finished speaking at the 10:30 pm press conference, NYC Mayor Eric Adams delivered a speech essentially calling for gun control.
“Earlier today the police commissioner and I were with the attorney general talking about ghost guns. Later in the day, we were with U.S. Sen. [Kirsten] Gillibrand talking about gun trafficking. This entire day we have been addressing the problem of the proliferation of guns on our streets, how readily accessible they are, and how there is just no fear in using these guns on innocent New Yorkers. And this is the result of that. These are real stories, real lives,” Adams said.
“When a mother’s pushing a baby carriage down the block … and is shot in point-blank range, this shows just how this national problem is impacting families. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the Upper East Side or East New York Brooklyn, the oversaturation of guns in dangerous people that repeatedly leave our justice system to continue actions like this, it is what’s making the New York City Police Department and other law enforcement agencies here in New York and across the country difficult to fight this issue.”
He later echoed this rhetoric on Twitter, where he was ratioed by critics quick to note that gun violence isn’t a national epidemic — it’s a blue city epidemic.
Critics also argued that fewer guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens will only exacerbate the ongoing crisis. So will ignoring the root causes of the violence like no bail policies and the elimination of stop and frisk, they said.
We lost a 20 year old woman on the Upper East Side tonight.
She was pushing a stroller when a gunman took her life.
More guns in our city means more lives lost. It means more babies crying as those who love them lie dead.
We cannot allow this epidemic to keep claiming lives.
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) June 30, 2022
It’s your policies. Every blue state is leading the way in higher crime.
— Christi (@Christilee0413) June 30, 2022
In case you didn’t notice, making her defenseless didn’t make the evil one harmless.
— Libertarian Law Grad (@libertarianJD) June 30, 2022
Not addressing the actual problems and root causes will lead to a continuation of these tragedies.
— Devin P. Adams (@dev_PAdams) June 30, 2022
End Bail Reform. Bring back Stop-n-Frisk. Guaranteed positive results.
— The Count (@13TheCount13) June 30, 2022
Here’s a plan for combating gun violence:
1. Arrest Criminals
2. Prosecute Criminals
3. Convict Criminals
4. Incarcerate Criminals
— 🇺🇸 Grumpy Old Veteran 🇺🇸 (@guadder17) June 30, 2022
Plus, the broader issue of violence involves far more than just guns.
“So far this year, major crimes are up 44 percent in the precinct [where the shooting occurred] from the same period one year ago, with robbery up 60 percent and felony assault increasing by 23 percent. The precinct has recorded 1,162 major crimes so far in 2022, compared to 805 incidents in the same period last year,” according to the Daily Mail.
“Citywide, major crimes in New York are up 38 percent this year compared to last year, with robbery up 39 percent, burglary rising 34 percent, and felony assault jumping 19 percent.”
Meanwhile, murders are actually reportedly down 13 percent from last year, meaning again that guns aren’t the issue.
To his credit, and despite his focus on gun control, Adams has at least vowed to bring Wednesday’s shooter to justice.
“We’re going to find this person that is guilty of this horrific crime. We’re
going to find him and bring him to justice. We just need the justice system to make sure this innocent person receives that justice that we’re asking for,” he said at the press conference.
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