New York mayor calls for national action on guns after death of police officer

By AFP   January 21, 2022 | 06:35 pm PT
New York mayor calls for national action on guns after death of police officer
Emergency personnel respond at the scene where NYPD officers were shot while responding to a domestic violence call in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, U.S., January 21, 2022. Photo by Reuters
New York's mayor called on the federal government to help "stop the flow of weapons" in the city after a police officer was killed and another wounded in a shooting on Friday.

America's largest city has been rocked by a spate of shootings in recent days with Mayor Eric Adams -- a former police officer who was elected on a pledge to fight crime -- vowing to tighten gun control.

"We have witnessed the failure on a federal level to stop the flow of guns to this city," Adams said at a briefing after the third incident this week in which an officer has been shot in New York.

"We need Washington to join us and act now to stop the flow of guns in New York City and cities like New York."

Friday's shooting took place after three officers responded to a call from a mother who was confronted by her son in a Harlem district apartment, police said.

When police arrived at the scene, the 47-year-old man opened fire on them "without warning," New York Police Department Chief Keechant Sewell said in the press briefing.

"In a moment, a young 22-year-old life was ended and another forever altered," Sewell said of the two officers shot in the incident.

Adams questioned how the suspect got hold of a firearm.

"We don't make guns here. How are we removing thousands of guns off the street and they still find their way into New York City, in the hands of people who are killers?" said Adams, a Democrat who took office on January 1.

"We're going to find these guns and we're going to find those who carry them and use them," he told reporters.

New York is still reeling from two other violent deaths last week.

On Saturday, Michelle Go, a 40-year-old Asian American woman, died after a homeless man dealing with mental health issues pushed her onto an underground track as a train pulled into Times Square station.

The day before, a 19-year-old Puerto Rican woman, Kristal Bayron-Nieves, was fatally shot during a robbery in the East Harlem Burger King where she worked. The assailant took about $100 from the till and shot her as he fled.

Police say that last year 488 homicides were recorded in the city of nine million, 4.3 percent more than in 2020. They are up sharply compared to the level five years ago.

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