Violent crime rises in NYC with 3,400 gun arrests so far in 2021

Violent crime continues to spike in NYC as Bill de Blasio tries to lure office workers and tourists back: Assaults up 19% and robberies increased 6% in September as NYPD makes more than 3,400 gun arrests in 2021

  • NYPD data shows crime rose 2.6% overall in September 2021 compared to September 2020
  • Felonious assault rose 18.5%, robberies 6%, car theft 4.1% and grand larceny .7%
  • A total of 3,425 gun arrests were made between January and the end of September 2021 – up 20.9% from the same period in 2020 
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio touted the rise in gun arrests as an ‘extraordinary success’ Wednesday rather than a concerning sign of a rise in firearm use
  • De Blasio is trying to lure tourists and city workers back to NYC 
  • Some boroughs have been ravaged by the crime wave more than others, with Manhattan South recording the biggest spike in crime (20.1%) in September
  • The Big Apple has been rocked by violent crime over the last year, fueling fears of a return to the dark days of the ’70s and ’80s when it was nicknamed Fear City 

Violent crime has continued to escalate in New York City, with assaults climbing 18.5 percent and robberies up 6 percent in September as the NYPD revealed it has made more than 3,400 gun arrests so far this year. 

Stark data released by the NYPD Wednesday shows crime rose 2.6 percent overall in September 2021 compared to the same month in 2020, with an extra 243 incidents reported. 

The biggest increase was for felonious assault – or assault with a dangerous weapon – which surged by a shocking 18.5 percent from 1,802 in September 2020 to 2,135 in September 2021, as New Yorkers have been plagued by random attacks in the streets of the city. 

The data also reveals a concerning trend in other criminal activity, with robberies up 6 percent, car theft up 4.1 percent and grand larceny up .7 percent within the same timeframe.  

Over the last year, New York has been rocked by a wave of violent crime, fueling fears it is returning to the dark days of the ’70s and ’80s when murders were rife and the Big Apple earned the nickname Fear City.

A map showing the New York City boroughs where crime has increased (in red) and decreased (in green) in September 2021 compared to the same month last year

This prompted former state Governor Andrew Cuomo to take the unprecedented step of launching the nation’s first ever state of emergency over gun violence back in July. 

But now, the situation appears to be getting even worse with a staggering 393 gun arrests made last month alone, bringing the total number of gun arrests to 3,425 between January and the end of September.

This is a dramatic increase of 20.9 percent from the same period in 2020 when 2,832 gun arrests were made.

Last year, the city and the nation was reeling from COVID-19, civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd and political turmoil in the run-up to the presidential election. 

Now, COVID-19 restrictions have almost all lifted, the US’s borders are poised to reopen to major tourists destinations and Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to lure back office workers to the city.  

Yet, violent and horrific subway attacks and gang-related gun battles are still a common occurrence in the streets of the city.  

Some boroughs have been ravaged by the crime wave more than others, with Manhattan South recording the biggest spike in crime (20.1 percent) last month compared to the previous September. 

Violent crime has continued to escalate in New York City, with total crime up 2.6% in September 2021 compared to September 2020

Manhattan North has also seen a rise in crime, up by 3.2 percent in the same timeframe.  

Brooklyn South saw crime spike by 5.3 percent, Staten Island by 9 percent and the Bronx – where a terrifying gun fight broke out between gangs last month – by 4.9 percent.

Crime has, however, fallen in some boroughs of the city, down by 4.2 percent in Brooklyn North, 5.8 percent in Queens North.

In Queens South, crime fell 3.7 percent between the two months – even though there were six murders recorded there last month.

Despite the rise in some violent offenses, NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea hailed the fall in murders and shootings last month.   

Murders fell by 22 percent from 59 in September 2020 to 46 last month, while shootings were down 9.3 percent from 150 to 136.

Burglaries also fell by 14.9 percent and rapes by 12.4 percent between the two timeframes.

Shea said in a statement that this is part of a wider fall in some violent crimes from the summer as the city focuses on curtailing gun violence.  

‘The ongoing, downward trend in violence reflects the hard and often dangerous work of the men and women of the NYPD,’ said Shea. 

‘And while I applaud their courage and tenacity, the police cannot do this alone. Public safety must be a collective mission. 

‘It requires intelligence-based policing, but it also requires a fully functioning court system and meaningful consequences that send a clear message to those who would pull a trigger: expect to be caught, and expect to be held accountable.’ 

Mayor Bill de Blasio touted the rise in gun arrests as an ‘extraordinary success’ Wednesday rather than a concerning sign of a rise in firearm use

De Blasio also gave an optimistic outlook of the new crime figures in his press briefing Wednesday morning.

The mayor touted the rise in gun arrests as an ‘extraordinary success’ Wednesday rather than a concerning sign of a rise in firearm use.

‘It’s a typical thing out there for certain folks to doubt New York City, or to doubt our ability to make a comeback, or doubt the NYPD, but the facts speak for themselves,’ he said. 

‘Even in the most extraordinarily difficult circumstances – total disruption of our society because of a global pandemic, unprecedented – the NYPD has fought back, neighborhood folks have fought back, the city has fought back and we’re seeing it in so many ways.’

He added: ‘We’re seeing the city come back to life.’ 

The mayor said several crimes such as robbery and felony crime are currently at the lowest rate in the last three decades on a year-to-date basis.   

And de Blasio said things will improve further as the city continues to come back to life – through a return of tourism and workers returning to their offices. 

Yet, the tourist hotspots have been at the center of some of the violence of late.

Historic crime data shows how crime fell from the 1990s and has inched up in recent years 

Time’s Square – known for its flashing billboards and bright lights which draw in around 50 million visitors every year – has been the site of several shootings and a horrifying incident where a woman pushed a bystander in front of a subway train.

Shocking surveillance footage taken this Monday shows a woman jump up from a bench and shove the female victim as a train hurtled into the station. 

Anthonia Egegbara, 29, of Queens, was charged with attempted murder Tuesday over the incident. The victim Lenny Javier, 42, suffered a broken nose and chin but luckily survived.   

This came just hours before a man shot himself in the leg in that same subway station.   

Back in May, three innocent bystanders, including a four-year-old girl, were also shot by stray bullets in Times Square when a man started shooting indiscriminately in the middle of the day during an argument with someone else. 

The young girl was struck in the leg, a 24-year-old woman was hit in her thigh and a 44-year-old woman was shot in the foot. 

Horrifying surveillance video shows the moment when Anthonia Egegbara allegedly pushed a fellow commuter into a train at the Times Square subway station on Monday morning

All survived the shooting, which sent shoppers and tourists fleeing for their lives.   

In June, US Marine Samuel Poulin was shot in the back in the tourist hotspot. 

He was walking through the area with his family when he was randomly struck by a stray bullet from an altercation involving other people. Poulin was not seriously injured. 

The mayoral candidate frontrunner Eric Adams has vowed to tackle the escalating violence when de Blasio leaves office at the end of this term. 

On Tuesday, he said his first focus will be to crack down on guns entering the city.

His other plans include the creation of a dedicated plain-clothed anti-gun violence unit in the NYPD. 


May 6: Gunman shoots three in Times Square, including four-year-old girl

Three innocent bystanders, including a four-year-old girl, were hit by stray bullets in Times Square in broad daylight, in a shocking shooting that sent tourists stampeding in panic.

NYPD officers responded to the shooting at 4.55pm near the intersection of West 44th Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan, in the heart of Times Square.

The young girl was struck in the leg, a 24-year-old woman was hit in her thigh and a 44-year-old woman was shot in the foot, police said. All survived.

Police officers are seen arriving on the scene in Times Square on May 8, moments after three people were caught in crossfire at around 5pm and shot 

US Marshals in Starke, Florida, shared this photo of Muhammad after his arrest on May 12

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said none of the victims were related or known to each other, and that they are believed to be innocent bystanders who were struck by stray bullets after a man got into an argument with someone else and began shooting wildly.

The younger adult woman was a tourist visiting from Rhode Island, the older one a New Jersey resident, and the child lives in Brooklyn, and was shopping for toys with her parents, Shea said.  

The tourist from Rhode Island had traveled to Manhattan visit the Statue of Liberty, but finding the ferry closed decided to visit Times Square instead, Shea said.

Farrakhan Muhammad, 31, was arrested charged with attempted murder and multiple counts of assault, reckless endangerment and criminal use of a firearm.

He was denied bail, and the next hearing in the case is set for November 15. 

June 17: Two children escape death in shooting outside Bronx bodega 

Bronx siblings Christian, five, and Mia, 13, were nearly killed as a gunman fired wildly at an alleged gang rival who tripped over the children as he fled. 

Miraculously, neither of the kids were struck but they were directly in the line of fire. 

It was still light out and the parents watched in horror from the window of their first floor apartment, which is 1,000 feet away, as the kids walked down the street hand-in-hand to pick up some bread from the store. 

The apartment is just feet away from the 170th street subway station and is next to a park. It was a busy Thursday night with local families and residents filling the sidewalk. 

Mia and her brother were walking home together from a store. Mia tried to protect her brother while also trying to get the pair back on their feet. The callous gunman had no concern for the fact they were caught in the crossfire and kept shooting. He then fled on the back of a moped

Michael Lopez is walked out of the 44th Precinct after police charge him with attempted murder in the June 17 sidewalk shooting

The parents were watching when the gunman started running towards the kids on Sheridan Avenue, pointing at his target Hassan Wright, who was also behind the children. Hassan started running and tried to escape but instead he barreled into the brother and sister, knocking them to the ground.

As the shooter stood over Wright, firing six shots at home, the kids were trapped beneath his feet. 

In a horrifying disregard for the children’s lives, the shooter kept firing, injuring Wright in the legs and back before fleeing. Wright survived and is in the hospital. 

Michael Lopez, 27, was arrested and charged with attempted murder. He is currently being held without bail on Riker’s Island, where he is currently confined in the infirmary unit, records show.

July 31: Gunmen injure 10 in wild Queens shooting before fleeing on moped

Two men approached a crowd on a Queens street and fired about 40 shots, injuring 10 people before fleeing on mopeds 

The shooters, who were in the North Corona neighborhood, targeted members of the Trinitarios gang, police said, but they opened fire near pedestrians outside a barbershop and at a birthday party in a restaurant. 

NYPD released new high-quality photos on Thursday showing two gunmen and their two accomplices on mopeds who are wanted by the police

The images show of a pair of gunmen and their two accomplices who helped them escape on mopeds the night of the shooting

The victims ranged from ages 19 to 72, including a 72-year-old woman and a 70-year-old man, both of whom were shot in the leg, in addition to seven other men and another woman. All were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, according to police. 

Three of them were the intended targets, police said.

The most seriously injured victim suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said. 

‘The two males immediately extended their arms and began firing in the direction of a group in front of the barber shop down the street,’ he said. ‘This was, as I can most accurately describe it, a brazen, coordinated attack.’

The NYPD and Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa are offering a combined $30,000 reward for information leading to arrests.  

August 14: Hatchet-wielding assassin hacks stranger in Manhattan bank

Shocking video captured the moment a hatchet-wielding man brutally attacked a customer at a Manhattan bank 

The random attack unfolded at a Chase Bank on Broadway in the Financial District just before 5.30pm. 

Surveillance video obtained by shows the victim standing at an ATM in the bank vestibule when the assailant walks in behind him. 

Video captured the shocking moment Queens man Miguel Solorazana, 50, is slashed with a hatchet while using an ATM at a Chase Bank in downtown Manhattan at 5.30pm Sunday. It begins with the attacker walking into the ATM room with the hatchet in hand 

Eventually, Solorazana, severely bloodied, flees, and his attacker does not follow. Police say they have  the suspect in custody pending charges 

The suspect is seen removing a hatchet from a dark bag and sneaking up behind the victim before slashing him. 

The terrified and bloodied victim, who was identified as 50-year-old Queens resident Miguel Solorzana by the New York Daily News, attempts to fend off the crazed attacker. 

Solorzana is seen desperately trying to grab the weapon, as he becomes increasingly bloodied, before falling to the floor several times. 

Once the assailant is finished attacking Solorzana, he proceeds to smash the ATM screens before walking away, but not before leaving the hatchet behind, police said. 

Aaron Garcia, 37, of Yonkers, was arrested in the attack and charged with attempted murder and assault. He has pleaded not guilty and is next due in court November 10.  

September 28: Boy, 16, is fatally shot by his own friend in Brooklyn gunfight

Cahlil Pennington was fatally shot in the head as he and two other teens in white hoodies ran down Pitkin Avenue exchanging shots with a pursuing gunman.

In surveillance video, one of the teens turns around to shoot at another gunman after being shot in the stomach during a shootout around 1:30 pm, police said. 

After the teen with the gun turns around and fires a shot behind him, Cahlil is seen dropping to the ground and tripping one his friends

In the commotion, the bullet missed its intended target and hit Cahlil in the head at the corner of Pitkin and Miller Avenues, according to police and video footage. 

Cahlil falls to the ground and trips his friend, seen in a blood-soaked hoodie, who then drags Cahlil’s limp body around the corner as another teen in a white hoodie rounds the corner and jumps over the two wounded teens, according to the video. 

Cahlil, a student at Brooklyn’s New Visions AIM Charter High School II, was taken to Brookdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said. 

Several of the teens fled the scene and no arrests have been made. 

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