West Indian American Day Carnival Marred By Gunfire

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News Americas, BROOKLYN, NY, Tues. Sept. 6, 2011: It was supposed to be a day to celebrate West Indian pride and culture at the 44th annual West Indian American Day Carnival in Brooklyn, NY. But some 24 hours after organizers’ debuted a gospel concert to call for unity and address violence, gunfire erupted at the event.

At just before noon Monday, a gunman fired into the air several blocks from the beginning of the parade route on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, before jumping into a cab and driving off. Eyewitnesses said that the gunman exited the car at E. 94th and Winthrop Streets, tossed the weapon, and ran off with police in hot pursuit.

He did not get far before he was wrestled to the ground and maced.

But the shooting did not stop the wining and partying which featured dozens of colorful costumes and several floats and tons of revelers and great Caribbean cuisine.

The weekend was, however, also marred by several shooting. Early Monday morning, a man was fatally shot in the chest on E. 54th Street in Brooklyn. Yet another shooting occurred at Linden Boulevard and Nostrand Avenue at around at 4:24 a.m. and a Sunday shooting in the Bronx in which eight people, including children, were wounded. In all, there were 39 shootings in 48 hours in the city.

NY Police Commissioner, RayKelly, said some of the shootings were associated with the West Indian Day festivities.
“Frankly this is something that does happen at this parade,” he said.