NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City is about to hit a dangerous 14-year high in shootings this year.
NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said the increase of gun violence should make New Yorkers stop and pause.
"We had nine shootings across NYC yesterday, last year that would have been a full week, we had a FedEx driver in uniform shot in Brooklyn," Shea said. "Every metric we are seeing is disturbing."
He said officers are making gun arrests, but days later suspects are released from custody and back on the street.
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Shea said the increase in violence might be related to COVID-19.
"My fear is too much of this is certainly COVID, this is a year like no other, but COVID is not going to be the end all and be all, in my professional opinion," Shea said. "We will still have to grapple with some of these problems that we are seeing."
In one recent shooting, a 76-year-old man was shot in the neck while sleeping in a nursing home in Queens on Saturday.
In another instance, a 24-year-old man painting inside a Brooklyn barbershop was shot in the shoulder while two men tried to rob him.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said what is going on in the city is a "perfect storm" in 2020.
"What is going on this year, an absolute perfect storm, there is nothing like it in the history of NYC before, lets be really clear," de Blasio said. "You cannot combine a massive health crisis, tens of thousands of people dying, hospitals overwhelmed, economy shut down, schools shut down, houses of worship shut down, society not having its normal moorings, all at once, a social justice crisis. I mean come on, this is not like anything we have seen in our history and I believe not like anything we will see again in our lifetimes. In that atmosphere we saw an uptick in violence, that is clearly being addressed because we are regluing the situation together again, we are seeing much more connection between police and community through neighborhood policing, we are seeing many more gun arrests. We are going into a new year with a new approach that I think will help us turn the tide."
The police commissioner said they have strategy sessions every day on the topic.
"Fourteen-year high in shootings -- we had mastered how to drive incarceration down and drive shootings down, that has been upended this year," Shea said. "We have a lot of work to do to get that back."
As of Monday, the city has recorded over 1,700 gun violence victims which is nearly double last year's numbers over the same time.
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