- NBC New York -
Three were shot at a parade in Brooklyn. Bystander killed while daughter looks on
Three people were killed and two police officers were wounded in a shooting a few blocks from the annual West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn, capping a violent holiday weekend in which 47 people were injured by gunfire.
Two shooters were killed along with a bystander, 56-year-old Denise Gay, who was shot while sitting on a stoop with her daughter nearby just two doors down from the exchange of gunfire.
Mayor Bloomberg said Gay's death was "a senseless murder, and another painful reminder I think of what happens when elected officials in Washington fail to take the problem of illegal guns seriously."
The gunshots rang out just after 9 p.m. Monday in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood after the hours-long parade, which also was marred by fatal shootings in 2003 and 2005. Post-parade parties are common.
The shootings started as an exchange between two armed men, and when officers who had been assigned to parade duties arrived at the scene, they were fired upon and returned fire, police said.
Witnesses said the shooting went on for at least 30 seconds. Thomas Kaminsky, who lives near where the shootings occurred, said it sounded like machine-gun fire outside his building.
Earlier Monday, as revelers filled the streets in colorful costumes during the parade, separate gun violence brought the festivities to a stop in spots, scattering the panicked crowd. Police said four people were shot and wounded along the parade route and a 15-year-old boy was grazed by a bullet nearby.
A city councilman was briefly detained after getting into a confrontation with police after the parade.
The holiday weekend was particularly violent and included a Sunday shooting in the Bronx in which eight people, including children, were wounded. Four other people were shot in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn early Monday, including a 17-year-old boy who died.
The upcoming 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks and holiday weekend violence had put the city "on heightened alert," Kelly said before the parade stepped off.
Police helicopters hovered overhead during the parade, and officers on scooters and on foot patrolled the surrounding blocks.
Officer Omar Medina, 36, was being treated for his arm and chest wounds. Officer Avichaim Dicken, whose arm was grazed, was at a second hospital.
Before the violence Monday, the parade thundered down a Brooklyn thoroughfare with its usual colorful, musical energy.
The annual Labor Day parade celebrates the culture of the Caribbean islands and is one of the city's largest outdoors events. Modeled on traditional Carnival festivities, it features dancers wearing enormous feathered costumes, music and plenty of food.