PROSPECT-LEFFERTS GARDENS — A spate of gang-related shootings in the past week that police say killed a teen and sent two men to the hospital have sparked concern among residents.
Two men ages 22 and 29 were shot Tuesday afternoon around 5 p.m. at Bedford and Clarkson avenues in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, police said. Both men were rushed to Kings County Hospital for treatment of non-fatal wounds, officials said.
Investigators believe the shooters mistakenly identified the victims as members of a rival gang, sources said. As of Thursday, one suspect, 16-year-old Michael Williams, had been identified by the 70th Precinct, but no arrests have been made, police said.
Two days before and about four blocks away, 18-year-old Donel Andrew was shot to death just before 4 p.m. on Saturday outside of 952 Flatbush Ave. near Snyder Avenue on the border of Flatbush. Police released surveillance photos of three suspects, but no arrests have been made, the department said.
Local resident Rebecca Fitting, who lives near one of the shooting scenes, had to walk her 3-year-old son home from daycare “amid all the police chaos,” she said.
That same day, she wrote a letter to local officials explaining her concern about crime in the area, including two daylight shootings on Flatbush Avenue this fall, one that injured a dollar van passenger and another that injured a woman waiting for a bus and was later linked to local gang activity by the local precinct's commander.
“I had to explain to a 3-year-old why there were so many police, ambulances and helicopters. I said they were all there because there was an emergency. That's simplifying it for a toddler, but really, it's true. Our neighborhood is in a state of emergency,” she wrote.
This Saturday, a neighborhood anti-violence group Love Yourself Stop the Violence will hold a rally and march at the site of Tuesday’s shooting to show “that we’re not tolerating that behavior,” said district leader Geoffrey Davis, who helped found the group.
“They were shooting back and forth like it was the wild, wild west,” he said of the incident.
Davis, who is currently running in a special election for the district’s state assembly seat, said he hopes the march gets the message out to young people that “you don’t have to express yourself through violence.”
“I think our young people are going to express themselves one way or the other and we’re experiencing ‘the other,’” he said.
Saturday’s march will begin at 1 p.m. at the corner of Bedford and Clarkson avenues.