THE BRONX, New York City (WABC) -- In an exclusive sit down interview with Eyewitness News, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark gave a stern warning to those responsible for an increase in violence and discussed new ways to combat crime in the area.
"Enough is enough with the gun violence," she said. "These people need to be on notice that we are going to be ready this summer."
7 On Your Side Investigates found while there has been an increase in crime citywide, with murders up 17% and shootings up 77% compared this year to the same time last year, the Bronx experienced the highest percentage increase of any borough.
Shooting incidents are up 142% there this year, compared to the same time period last year. And while during this time in 2020, many were locked down during the pandemic, Clark still finds the increase concerning.
"It's just a perfect storm," she said. "Coming out of COVID was already a problem, you know, people are just settling silly beefs with violence."
Clark said it's due to a variety of reasons, from an uptick in gang activity to people thinking they can take the law into their own hands.
"Some of these criminals think that the police don't work anymore and that they can on their own settle their scores," she said. "They may think that's true, but we in the law enforcement community are working hard to change that narrative."
Friday afternoon, Clark organized a rally at Slattery Park off East 183rd Street, followed by a march through the streets of the hardest hit areas.
Her office has also launched a new way to help solve crime, with a team of assistant district attorneys going to the scenes of non-fatal shootings to investigate them the same way they would homicides.
They're hoping it will lead to the collection of more evidence, which will lead to more arrests.
"We are pulling out all the stops," she said. "And those that are responsible need to know that this is coming, that this is here, and this is what I'm going to do."
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