HARLEM — A 16-year-old boy was arrested early Tuesday for allegedly shooting a woman in the abdomen Sunday along a stretch of the rapidly gentrifying Frederick Douglass Boulevard.
The boy, whose name is being withheld by DNAinfo, was picked up at 4 a.m. by officers from the 28th Precinct and is a resident of St. Nicholas Houses, less than a mile from where the shooting occurred, according to multiple sources.
A woman in her 40s was struck in the abdomen at about 5 p.m. Sunday at Frederick Douglass Boulevard and West 116th Street. According to sources, the shooting happened when the 16-year-old, who is allegedly a member of a youth crew at St. Nicholas Houses, was spotted by members of a rival crew who thought he may have been involved in a robbery.
The rival crew chased the 16-year-old up Frederick Douglass Boulevard when he allegedly turned and fired two shots, one of which struck the victim. She was taken to a nearby hospital.
Rev. Vernon Williams, president of the Harlem Clergy Community Leaders Coalition and Perfect Peace Ministries, praised police for quickly capturing a suspect. Williams and other anti-violence advocates called Monday night for tougher penalties for those caught in possession of a firearm.
"Hopefully police will be able to get the gun used in the shooting off the street as well," said Williams.
Frederick Douglass Boulevard below 125th Street has experienced rapid growth and gentrification over the past few years with the addition of the first new Harlem hotel in 40 years, numerous co-ops, condos and bars and restaurants.
Area residents, however, are concerned over a rash of violence in the area, including two shootings in and around Morningside Park this summer and shots fired during broad daylight on Nov. 21 shooting near P.S. 180 and the Police Athletic League building on Morningside Avenue.
Williams said the kids involved in gang violence must be given alternatives.
"All of this gang-related and gang lifestyle violence needs to be addressed socially and politically," he said. "We need to have zero tolerance and then on social side introduce them to something other than the illegal pharmaceutical trade."