The harrowing scene in the Bronx, captured on surveillance video
Gunfire erupts on a Bronx sidewalk, and several passers-by, including a 5-year-old boy and his 10-year-old sister, rush toward a bodega’s entrance for shelter.
But the children collide with a man who is also racing for cover, and all three fall to the pavement before finding safety.
As they tumble down together, the children at one point are lying directly between the man, the gunman’s obvious target, and the gunman himself, who continues firing at close range.
The girl yanks her brother’s wrist, pulling him to the ground and wrapping him in her chest as his left shoe comes off in the commotion.
After about eight seconds, the gunman sprints off.
Amazingly, the harrowing scene, captured on surveillance video, ended without either of the children being hurt and the 24-year-old man they were tangled up with in stable condition and expected
to survive after being shot in the back and both legs, the police said.
Still, the episode was a vivid example of how even the most innocent New Yorkers can suddenly get caught in the crossfire of a recent surge in shootings that has plagued some city
neighborhoods and helped make crime a dominant issue in this year’s mayoral race.
Just over a week before the Bronx shooting shown in the video, in the Claremont section on Thursday evening, a 10-year-old Queens boy was fatally shot while leaving an aunt’s house
in the Rockaways.
In May, a 4-year-old girl was among several people shot in Times Square.
Cities of all sizes across the United States are confronting increases in gun violence that began amid the pandemic and have persisted through the first half of this year.
In New York, 721 people had been shot as of June 13, the most to that point in the year since 2002, Police Department statistics show.
The spike comes after a period during which violent crime in the city fell to its lowest levels in more than six decades, with the raw numbers still well below both what some smaller cities have
recorded and New York’s own peak levels of the 1980s and ’90s.
The city’s overall crime rate — which is based on seven major crimes, including murder, assault and rape — is also the lowest it has been in several decades,
thanks largely to declines in reported burglaries and robberies.