Is violence targeting teens on the rise in New York City?

The fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Sara Rivera is the latest incident in a spate of violence involving New York City's teens in recent weeks. 

As the summer approaches, some advocates in the city say they are concerned about the possibility of violence harming the city's youth increasing even further.

"With the summer months, you have an increase in violence as more people, not just youth, but all people are out. They're out longer, they're out later, and they often have the opportunity to interact with each other in a negative way," said Keith Taylor, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan.

Rivera's death isn't even the first fatal act of violence against one of the city's teenagers in the last 48 hours. Here's a look at some recent incidents:

16-year-old fatally shot in SoHo

On Tuesday, police say Mahki Brown, who was just 16, was shot and killed near Varick and Spring streets in Soho.

Brown was an avid basketball player who commuted from East Flatbush to attend Broome Street Academy Charter High School, a short distance from where he was shot. Neighbor Lakesha Jenkins has known him since he was five.

"When we send our children out, whether it's to the store, to school, wherever, we expect our children to come back home to us," she said.

Brown was shot once in the head and his right thigh. He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police are looking for two male suspects who fled on Spring Street following the shooting. 

Two teens stabbed in Crotona Park

Police in the Bronx say that a 14-year-old boy was stabbed in the chest and a 15-year-old boy was slashed in the hand outside of a McDonald's in Crotona Park.

One teenage boy was stabbed and another was slashed outside a McDonalds in Crotona Park

 Both are expected to survive, but no arrests have been made so far.

17-year-old punched, kicked, and slashed in the face in the Bronx

The NYPD says that a 17-year-old boy was punched, kicked, and slashed in the face by a group of seven people in the Bronx on May 6.

The victim was taken to NYC Health and Hospitals/Jacobi in stable condition, police said. 

Two teens stabbed in Brooklyn

Two teenage boys were stabbed in Brooklyn on May 7, according to police.

Authorities say one of the victims was stabbed twice in the right leg, while the other was stabbed once in the torso, right arm, and slashed in the neck.

Both teens were taken to local hospitals and are in stable condition. 

Teen stabbed to death in the Bronx

Last week, police said a 15-year-old girl fatally stabbed a 17-year-old girl, identified as Emery Mizell, in the Soundview section of the Bronx.

According to police, Mizell was stabbed in the chest. She was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police charged the 15-year-old with murder, manslaughter and unlawful possession of a weapon.

14-year-old shot while inside NYC playground

A 14-year-old boy was hit in the left foot by a bullet while inside a playground in Brooklyn in April. 

The boy was taken to Maimonides Hospital in stable condition.

Police say they do not know if he was the target of the shooting.

16-year-old boy shot twice in Far Rockaway

A 16-year-old boy was hospitalized in critical condition after being shot twice in Queens in April.

The victim was reportedly shot twice, in the groin and the left wrist. 

Is crime on the rise in New York City?

The NYPD recently released crime statistics for April, which indicated that overall crime was down in the city by 4.9% compared to the same month last year.

Crime year-to-date is trending downward in 2024: From Jan. 1, 2024, to April 28, 2024, the NYPD reported 37.8K major crimes (murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny auto). In that same period in 2023, the agency logged approximately 39K major crimes.

Murders were down 30.3%, with 23 this month compared to 33 in April 2023. Burglaries also saw a double-digit percentage point decrease, with 1,003 reported this month compared to 1,122 in April 2023. Shooting incidents dipped by 15.5%.

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