NYC gun violence sees younger shooters, victims amid rising concern

Typically, during the summer months, the rate of shootings and gun violence increases.

This year, though, the NYPD says they've noticed a disturbing new trend. 

An NYPD official tells FOX 5 that the shooters and the victims are younger than ever before.

As communities across New York City grapple with incidents of gun violence, nonprofit groups are working overtime to increase the peace wherever they can. 

In this week's episode of Street Soldiers, FOX 5 's Lisa Evers takes a look at how some communities are dealing with violence.

For the last three years, the NYPD has initiated next-level precision policing to target the shooters instead of doing broad gang sweeps. 

FOX 5 's Lisa Evers gets an exclusive look at this approach in action.


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NYPD detectives from the elite gun violence suppression unit focused on the small percentage of gang members they say are the actual trigger pullers.

Under the leadership of Assistant Chief Jason Savino, the unit conducts in-depth investigations of the most violent murders and incidents. 

Chief Savino says a disturbing reality is emerging. 

There's now a 1 in 10 chance that a shooting victim will be 17 years or younger, and the shooters themselves are getting younger too.


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"Now, for the first time ever in 2024, it dipped under 20. In fact, it's 19. So we see the age of the shooting victims going lower. We see the age of the worst of the worst shooting perpetrators going lower as well," Assistant Chief Jason Savino said. 

A.T. Mitchell, Co-chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force was appointed NYC gun czar by Mayor Eric Adams.

More than two decades ago, he founded the nonprofit Man Up Inc., an organization in Brooklyn to deal with gun violence and other social and community issues. 

Mitchell believes if resources are put where they're most needed, gun violence can be prevented.


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"We have a fire that's burning. You gotta pour water on it in order to put it out. And in our communities, you know, the fire is the violence, but the water is the resources. And we need to make sure that we're making massive investments," Mitchell said.

Columbia University student Jason Bostick, 21, lost his dad, also known as Jason Bostick, to a violent robbery when he was just nine years old. 

Tragically, his sister was also murdered. 

Bostick said a gang in his Bed-Stuy neighborhood was his only way of coping with the flood of emotions and fear that overcame him. 


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A source tells FOX 5 NY that the victim also had a gun and that a dispute broke out before he and the suspects started firing at each other.

But members of the Man Up organization intervened and helped him get his life back on track before it was too late.

"Every day I step outside in the project building, stepping over crack heads and dealing with the high violence in my community. I couldn't think or fathom me being right where I'm at right now as a Columbia student," he says. 

Student community leaders, encouraged by the mayor's support for Crisis Management System are developing new ways to reach those boys on the cusp of serious criminal activity. 

The In The Field program for high risk youth, uses paintball competitions between opposing crews or gangs to engage males from 12 to 24 and three days of mental health workshops, executive director Jarrell Sweet tells me.

He sees the shooters getting younger and their motives are different.

"We're seeing a culture shift," Sweet says. "Kind of away from violence that we used to be seeing, you know, perceived mostly through need and desperation. And now there's more of a clout-chasing aspect to it. 

For more on the holistic approach to reducing gun violence tune into the next episode of Street Soldiers, Friday night at 10:30 p.m., after the 10 o'clock news.