The Big Apple just kept getting bloodier yesterday, with at least eight more people struck by gunfire – three fatally – as NYPD statistics revealed a jaw-dropping jump in shootings over last year.
For a second day, Mayor Bloomberg tried to blame the violence on the “traditionally” high level of gunplay around the Fourth of July – but the stats belied his claim that last week was just business as usual on the increasingly mean streets of New York.
Those numbers show that there is an epidemic of shootings in Gotham.
For the period from July 2 until July 8, 77 people were shot in the city, compared with 60 for the same week last year – a 28.3 percent increase, according to the Police Department.
The number of “shooting incidents” in that same time period spiked nearly 32 percent – going from 47 last year to 62 last week.
The grim numbers track an already bloody uptick that began on Jan. 1.
Year to date, 880 people have been shot in the city, compared with 803 for the same span in 2011 – a 9.5 percent hike. And shootings are up 12.1 percent over the same time last year – 733 incidents compared with 653.
On Sunday, after a weeklong flurry of gun violence that saw 16 killings in 18 shootings, Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser noted that statistics show that “the week that the Fourth of July falls has been bloody every single year.”
Yesterday, in the midst of eight more shootings, Bloomberg repeated that claim.
“It’s true that this particular week of the Fourth of July traditionally has been a very high-crime shooting, murder week,” Bloomberg said. “It’s an outrage . . . I hope this week is just an aberration in the statistics, but we are working as hard as we can to stop it.”
When a reporter asked if there was something more his administration or the NYPD could be doing, Bloomberg got angry.
“If there was, don’t you think we would do it?” the mayor snapped. “I mean, what kind of question . . . Let me repeat what [Police Commissioner] Ray Kelly is constantly [saying]: If you have any suggestions, we’d be happy to hear it. We are doing every single thing we can to keep you and your kids safe.”
The NYPD declined to comment when asked what – if anything – it was doing to address the spike in shootings.
City Council Speaker – and mayoral hopeful – Christine Quinn, said, “We have seen a deeply troubling number of shootings over the past several days, which is unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, the Big Apple body count kept climbing.
Just after 2 a.m. yesterday, cops found 19-year-old Dante Sanders mortally wounded outside the Chelsea Houses on West 25th Street in Manhattan.
Cops said a 30-year-old man was found dead in front of a building at 4 p.m. in Crown Heights in Brooklyn. He had been shot multiple times.
And a 21-year-old man was fatally shot in the head and chest on Davidson Avenue in The Bronx at about 4:40 p.m.
There were five other shootings around town yesterday, police said.