BRONX, New York (WABC) -- In a new push to crack down on gun violence across New York City, officials came together in the Bronx to discuss the recent surge in shootings.
Even though shootings up through the start of July are down 30% in the Bronx, it has been a violent start to the month.
Since Friday there have been 16 shootings with 25 people hit by gunfire.
Among those victims was an 18-year-old drill rapper who was killed after Fourth of July celebrations and a 5-year-old girl who was shot while in a car at a vigil for another shooting victim.
Elected officials and community leaders met Thursday morning to send a couple messages: There are options for young people like summer programs, jobs and other programs to engage and avoid conflict that have led to violence. The other message is such behavior will not be tolerated.
"This is a call to action, we will not accept the violence that we have seen from this past weekend in our borough, it is unacceptable and our message to those out there that are armed with illegal and unlicensed handguns that engage in violence, that go to barbecues and social clubs and shoot and injure and kill our people: We are coming for you," said Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson. "You do not define who we are as New Yorkers and as Bronxites. There are more of us than there are of you. We will not allow the violent individuals to define who we are. Our borough deserves better, our city deserves better."
The district attorney said they will prosecute these crimes and violence to the fullest.
NYPD said despite those 16 shootings, they have made 15 arrests and 17 guns were taken off the streets.
In addition, NYPD leaders said at their monthly crime statistics briefing Thursday afternoon, the number of shootings in New York City decreased in each of the last 13 weeks. For the first half of 2023 shootings are down 25% compared to the same period a year ago.
So far in 2023 nearly 200 fewer people have been shot in the nation's largest city compared to the first six months of 2022.
"That is not just a number. These are hundreds of real people, hundreds of families spared the devastating impacts of gun violence," acting Police Commissioner Edward Caban said.
WATCH: NYPD briefing on crime statistics for June
The drop coincides with the historic number of gun-related arrests.
In June 2023, police made 345 arrests resulting in 300 firearms seized for the month. Overall, NYPD officers have seized 3,424 guns and made 2,162 gun arrests through the first six months of 2023.
"There are still too many guns on the streets and too many criminals willing to carry them and pull the trigger," Caban said.
Crime overall dropped slightly last month compared to the same month a year ago. There were fewer homicides, rapes, robberies and burglaries.
Hate crimes were down 18%. June saw increases in grand larceny auto felony assault. Subway crime also increased.
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