NEW YORK - Hours after releasing startling statistics about gun violence, the NYPD reported three more homicides in the city.
A 44-year-old man was shot and killed at the Amsterdam Houses on the Upper West Side Wednesday night. Cedric Bennet was found in the lobby stairwell of building 70. Bennet lived in building 40 of the NYCHA complex. A 20-year-old man was shot in the face in Flatbush, Brooklyn and another man was shot multiple times in Washington Heights. Police are investigating all three deadly shootings.
The number of murders and shootings in August were dramatically higher than in the same month last year, according to NYPD statistics. It is part of a trend that has been going on for months in New York City.
Shootings were up 166% in August 2020 versus August 2019. Murders were up 47% for the same period. Those numbers came after July saw a 177% percent increase in shootings and a 59% increase in murders year-over-year.
Overall crime was only slightly higher in August but the number of robberies and burglaries was also higher.
For the year, the number of reported murders is up 34% versus the same period in 2019.
The number of burglaries is also up +42% year-to-date.
The NYPD says it is shifting officers to areas with an increase in shootings in an effort to collect intelligence.
In June, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced an initiative to address the rampant gun violence. The police department is focusing on hotspot areas where the majority of the violence has reported but will spread to any other neighborhood that sees an uptick, the mayor had said. The program includes a series of anti-gun town halls around the city billed as "Stop the Violence" events.
The results have not been seen yet.
Police made 359 gun arrests in August. That is only two more than in August 2019.
For the year, shootings are up 87% versus the same period in 2019. The murder rate for the year is up 34%.