Holiday weekend in New York City marred by gun violence

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 06, 2011 9:59 AM
Holiday weekend in New York City marred by gun violence

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gun battle in Brooklyn, which capped a holiday weekend marred by shootings, left two dead, including a woman caught in the cross-fire, and two police officers wounded, authorities said on Tuesday.

Just hours after the end of Brooklyn's West Indian Day Parade, two men exchanged gunfire in the Crown Heights neighborhood at 9 p.m. on Sunday.

One of them, Randy Johnson, 29, was struck in the neck and collapsed on the street. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The other, Leroy Webster, 32, fired on two officers who were on parade detail and responded to the gunfire, said police. They returned fire and Webster was critically wounded, police said.

Officer Omar Medina, 36, was shot in the left arm, chest and eye, and Officer Avichaim Dicken was shot in the left arm. Both were listed in stable condition at the hospital.

Caught in the cross-fire of the gun battle was Denise Gay, 56, who was standing at the entrance to her apartment building, police said.

The shooting capped a weekend of gun violence that triggered a harsh rebuke by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of federal apathy toward gun control.

"It 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 mayor said in a statement released early Tuesday.

"It is a matter of life and death, and in this case the death was an innocent New Yorker," the mayor said.

In another shooting early Sunday morning, in which eight people were gunned down at a house party in the Bronx, police made one arrest and sought a second suspect.

Under arrest was Phillip Muir, 21, of the Bronx, who was charged with eight counts of attempted murder, police said. Still at large was Dasilva Oneil, 17, of Mount Vernon, New York, police said.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Greg McCune)