CROWN HEIGHTS — A gang feud has fueled a 38 percent spike in shootings in Crown Heights and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens amid an overall crime drop of more than 8 percent, the area's precinct commander said this week.
Deputy Inspector George Fitzgibbon of the 71st Precinct said he’s “really not happy” with 2014’s numbers, despite a drop in the seven major crime categories, which include murder, rape, assault and burglary. There were 1,502 reports of those major crimes in 2014, an 8.2 percent drop from the 1,637 reports in 2013, according to NYPD data.
“I’m sad to say we had 21 shooting incidents in 2013 and 29 in 2014,” he told residents at the precinct’s community council meeting Thursday night.
He said the precinct’s gun violence statistics were “not doing too badly” until October when numerous shootings by people with “gang and crew affiliations” occurred in two specific areas: near the Ebbets Field apartments and around Hawthorne Street in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.
“I have two groups that are arguing with each other, over what, I don’t want to get into,” Fitzgibbon said, adding that several detectives, members of Brooklyn South’s gang unit and the district attorney’s office are working on a case to rein in the two groups.
“We have a lot of leg work that’s gone on in the last three months,” he said.
One recent shooting that is linked to the two groups injured an innocent bystander, officials from the precinct said.
On Dec. 18, a woman waiting for the B41 bus on Flatbush Avenue near Hawthorne Street was shot in the shoulder by a group of men who meant to shoot someone else, police said at the time.