Stray bullet death highlights gun problem

October 21, 2009 3:48:19 PM PDT
The elderly woman killed by a stray bullet in the Bronx late Tuesday is the third person to be killed in such a manner in New York City in just the last month. So why are so many innocent people being killed by random bullets at a time Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly insist crime is declining?

Bloomberg says the shooting death of 92-year-old Sadie Mitchell through the first-floor window of her home is why guns need to be removed from the streets.

Mitchell is only the latest victim of gun violence that police have struggled to control, but have been unable to prevent.

In late September, Aisha Santiago was shot and killed while trying to protect her 9-year-old son during a wild shootout in the Bronx. And just three weeks ago, 13-year-old Kevin Miller died while walking to a McDonald's after school, caught in the crossfire during a shootout between two of his classmates.

The mayor said Wednesday that Mitchell's death "tugs at your heart."

A strong advocate of gun control, he says, "What a sick world we have. We've just got to get guns off the streets."

Bloomberg said the problem is gun traffickers and lenient laws in other states that make it easy to purchase guns. His opponent in the city's mayoral race, Comptroller Bill Thompson, did not disagree.

He said he believes more involvement is needed from the communities, to provide authorities with the locations of guns. He says otherwise, people will be held hostage by the weapons.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said Mitchell died "inside a place that was supposed to be safe, her house, and became one more victim of gun-wielding criminals."

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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