CROWN HEIGHTS — A 17-year-old boy and a woman were killed in shootings at Monday's J’Ouvert in Crown Heights that also left others injured, police said.
Tyreke Borel, 17, and Tiarah Poyau, 22, were fatally shot a block from each other along the route of the official J’Ouvert parade, the NYPD said.
The first shooting was on Flatbush Avenue and Empire Boulevard just before 4 a.m. when Borel was hit in the chest and rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, officials said.
Less than 30 minutes later, shots rang out on Empire Boulevard between Washington Avenue and McKeever Place, killing Poyau who was shot in the face, police said.
Franklin Phillip, who lived in the same building as Borel, described him as a very polite young man who was interested in fixing cars.
"He was a harmless kid. He was a little gentleman," Phillip said.
"He was very quiet and was always coming and going by himself or with one or two friends."
The initial investigation of the two shootings delayed the J’Ouvert parade, which had begun at 4 a.m. at Grand Army Plaza and was on its way down Flatbush Avenue to head east on Empire Boulevard when the violence broke out.
At least two other shootings happened close to the parade route before 7 a.m., police said. Two victims from those incidents, including a 72-year-old woman who was shot in the left arm at the same time and place where Borel was hit, are currently at local hospitals but are expected to survive.
He said in a press conference following the shootings that the city would never accept this level of violence and that a full review of the events would determine what needs to be done moving forward.
"I'm saddened that this happened," he said. "But I'm resolute that we have to do more."
The NYPD significantly ramped up security at the annual pre-dawn celebration this year, officially permitting the event for the first time, doubling the number of police officers to more than 3,400 and hanging posters in the neighborhood warning “do not shoot anyone.”
There were also 45 cameras and more than 250 light towers installed, according to Assistant Chief Steven Powers, who oversees Patrol Borough Brooklyn South for the NYPD.
The push to reduce violence during J’Ouvert follows two fatalities during the event in 2015, including the death of 43-year-old Carey Gabay, an attorney in the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Gabay was hit by a stray bullet in a gang-related shooting that took place during J'Ouvert outside the Ebbets Field apartments, located close to Monday's fatal shootings.
"We need to be clear — we do not surrender to violence. Violence surrenders to us," Adams said.
"We are not going to apologize for the people who used violence. We are going to imprison them."