The family of an innocent bystander left paralyzed when he was hit by a stray bullet in Brooklyn on Wednesday has questioned the slow response of the NYPD and claims cops have fled the area.
Sam Metcalfe, 33, was walking to the store in Flatbush to buy toothpaste with his wife Sabrina when the rogue bullet struck him in the spine. Malcolm Amede, 18, a suspected gang member, died in the shooting.
Metcalfe’s family believes his injury would not have happened if cops still kept a presence in the area instead of patrolling only through nearby Prospect Park.
The young husband is among an increasing list of innocent victims hit in the spike of shootings in NYC since the start of the summer.
On Saturday alone, three people were fatally shot in the Big Apple, including a 25-year-old mother of three who was not the intended target.
Sam Metcalfe, 33, (pictured left) was left paralyzed when he was hit by a stray bullet in Brooklyn on Wednesday. Just days later, Priscilla Vasquez, 25, (pictured right) was fatally shot in the back of her head in the Bronx by a bullet intended for somebody else, cops say
Video of the shooting’s aftermath just south of Prospect Park on Wednesday shows Good Samaritans coming to the aid of Metcalfe as he lay wounded in the intersection of Ocean and Woodruff avenues in Flatbush. Family have questioned where the police were
Priscilla Vasquez was hit when the shooter opened fire on a group of people gathered here but cops and her family say that she was not the target of the shooting
The shooting that paralyzed Metcalfe happened in broad daylight near the intersection of Ocean and Woodruff avenues in Flatbush – just south of Prospect Park.
It was the third in six days in the area and Metcalfe’s mother-in-law Susan Parziale has claimed it is because police ‘aren’t doing anything’ about the violence.
‘The reason it happened is because the cops aren’t around. That neighborhood used to be safe,’ Parziale told the New York Post.
‘It’s not safe now,’ she added, although she does not live in the city. ‘There used to be police all over that neighborhood but now they aren’t doing anything.’
Doctors believe Metcalfe, pictured, may never walk again
Metcalfe’s shooting was captured on graphic footage from nearby surveillance and videos taken by bystanders.
The videos have raised questions for his family, however, who want to know why there is no police presence seen for minutes after Metcalfe was hit and as witnesses rushed to his aid.
‘After he was shot, there were all these videos and even minutes later, there were no cops,’ Sabrina’s brother Joe Parziale, 30, told the Post. ‘There should have been a cop there in 90 seconds.
‘Prospect Park is a heavily patrolled area,’ he added.
‘It’s not even a matter of putting more cops on the street. I don’t know if it’s a slow-down in response to the protests, or what it is. If that were a cop that were shot, they would be scrambling choppers.’
Amede, the fatality in the shooting, is believed to have been its real target. He was shot in the arms and the chest.
Law enforcement sources believe he is a member of the Crips and that the shooting was related to gang warfare.
Surveillance footage released from the scene on Friday shows an unidentified gunman aiming a gun from the driver’s seat of a BMW SUV just before 3:30pm.
Cops found a gun at the scene that may have been dropped by one of the victims.
The NYPD released this shocking footage from the shooting on Wednesday that left Metcalfe wounded. It shows the shooter firing from the driver’s side of a BMW SUV
There have been at least four cases of bystanders being hit by a stray bullet in NYC since Metcalfe, two resulting in fatalities.
Just hours later in the Bronx, a 61-year-old woman was also hit in the legs by a stray bullet after gunfire erupted between two men nearby.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, Luis Rodriguez, 60, was fatally shot outside his home in the Bronx when someone opened fire into a crowd of people watching a dice game.
Victor Palanco was also wounded in the shooting, along with a third man.
Back in Brooklyn a 68-year-old woman was shot in the ankle around noon on Friday while she was waiting for her appointment outside a nail salon.
And in the early hours of Saturday morning, 25-year-old Priscilla Vasquez was found with a gunshot wound to the back of the head on E. 152nd St. in the Bronx.
The mother of three was tragically hit by a bullet that was meant for somebody else, according to CBS New York.
The gunman, described as a man in his 20s wearing a black hoodie and a white surgical mask, opened fire on a group of people and then fled the scene, according to the New York Daily News.
Priscilla Vasquez, 25, was found with a gunshot wound to the back of the head on E. 152nd St. in the Bronx. Police say she was not the intended target of the shooting
Police have released this image of the suspect in Vasquez’ death
The shooting happened around 5am on Saturday morning beginning a violent day for NYC
Her aunt Patria Moris, 57, said ‘there was a shootout and the bullet wasn’t for her’.
‘It might have been an ex-boyfriend or maybe it was a stray shooting, I don’t know,’ she added.
Her sister Angela said she was still ‘in shock’ from the sudden death and had yet to fully understand what had happened.
‘I hope it’s not true that she’s not here, that somebody just shot her in the head,’ she said.
Vasquez has been described as a ‘great mother’ and a ‘happy person’, as well as a ‘strong and independent woman’.
‘She had her opinions and she say them, but she loved to be happy, joyful, loved to dance and have a drink,’ said Moris. ‘She was a very good mom. She raised them well. She was always friendly with everyone.’
No arrest have yet been made in any of these cases.
New York City is enduring a summer of soaring violent crime.
Heat waves, high unemployment, and the grinding misery of social distancing restrictions have all contributed to an atmosphere in which tempers spin out of control, and verbal disputes between strangers often turn violent.
As well, gang violence and turf wars have contributed to the shootings, police say.
Shortly before noon on Friday, an innocent bystander was shot and wounded in the ankle while she was sitting inside a Brooklyn nail salon (above). She was among at least four people who were hit by a stray bullet in New York City since Wednesday afternoon
The 68-year-old woman was in a nail salon on Pitkin Avenue when shots rang out
From midnight to midnight, at least three people died in shootings across the Big Apple on Saturday, including Vasquez.
Just before 2pm Saturday, Fabian Abney, 20, was found fatally shot in the chest in Coney Island, Brooklyn.
A crowd of about 200 people was forced to scatter at around 7.45pm in Hollis, Queens was a man was fatally shot in the head while attending an impromptu basketball tourney.
The park, located at 207 St. and Hillside Ave, is ‘notorious’ as a drug location, locals say.
‘We complain about the drug dealing. Nobody does anything. This was bound to happen. If you’re going to commit a crime, it’s the best place to commit a crime,’ Elaine Bailey told Daily News.
‘I have seen a lot of shootings in that park and a lot of stabbings. It’s no good,’ added Daiv Paul.
Saturday’s carnage began at 12.30am when a 28-year-old was rushed to hospital after being hit in the leg in Prospect Heights in Brooklyn.
According to NY Daily News, over the next 40 minutes, five people were shot in different incidents across the city. All five were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
The long list of shootings Saturday rounded off a bloody week where there were 56 people shot in 44 different incidents.
Last month, shooting incidents across the city were up 177 percent compared to last year.
Murders were up 59 percent for the month, burglaries rose 31 percent, and auto thefts increased 53 percent.
Homicides in NYC surged by 29 per cent to 244 from January 1 to August 2 from the same period last year.
The five boroughs have also seen an 84.6 per cent rise in shooting victims to 1,017 during those dates compared with the same period in 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Facing pressure from activists, as well as a mounting budget crisis, Mayor Bill de Blasio cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6billion annual budget.
The mayor has also boasted of the large number of inmates released from Rikers Island due to the pandemic, proudly declaring that city jails had the lowest inmate population since World War II.
In the last five years the number of shootings fell to a low of 754 in 2018, but is now rising
De Blasio (seen earlier this month) cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6billion annual budget
Yet police unions have blamed bail reform, police budget cuts, and anti-cop sentiment for the rise in violent crime.
Last week, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the city’s largest police union, took the unprecedented step of endorsing President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has blamed police themselves for the rising crime, saying they have done ‘very little’ to come up with reform plans.
He also threatened to pull funding from up to 500 departments across the state if they do not have reform plans in place by April 2021.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has also criticized the police response.
‘They need to roll that plan out, and it needs to be a comprehensive plan that all of the community stakeholders and partners are aware of,’ Adams said. ‘I don’t know about the plan they’re doing. That is a problem.’
On Saturday, it was announced that NYPD cops will now have to give up their weekends as the department looks to dampen the violence.
Two-thirds of cops under the rank of captain who have both Saturday and Sunday off are being asked to switch their shifts so they work at least one day over the weekend.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said the change was being made ‘due to the combination of increased violence, ongoing protests, COVID-19 restrictions and reduction to overtime funding’.