Mayor Michael Bloomberg said illegal handguns were to blame for a shootout that killed two — including an innocent bystander — and wounded two police officers just blocks from the route of the West Indian Day Parade round in Brooklyn on Monday.
Two men who began firing at each other around 9 p.m. on Monday near the Crown Heights parade route. The gunman opened fire on police who arrived at the scene, cops said. They returned fire, and one of the men was killed, according to police.
Officer Omar Medina was struck by bullet fragments in the chest and left arm, and Avichaim Dicken received a graze wound above his left elbow. The officers — both eight-year veterans of the force — are expected to recover.
A stray bullet struck and killed Denise Gay, 56, who was sitting on her stoop with her daughter during the shootout.
Bloomberg called Gay's death "a senseless murder," and said the federal government has failed to deal with the problem of illegal handguns.
(Photo by Mansoor Khan)
"This is a national problem requiring national leadership," Bloomberg said. "At the moment, neither end of Pennsylvania Avenue has had the courage to take the basic steps that would save lives."
Earlier in the day, there were three additional shootings along the parade route. One man, a 29-year-old, was shot in the abdomen and critically injured.
The West Indian Day Parade, which was held in the neighborhood hours earlier, was also the site of fatal shootings in 2003 and 2005.