NEW YORK (WABC) -- Three people were killed in the span of an hour in separate incidents across New York City late Wednesday, one day before the NYPD released crime statistics that showed while overall crime was up, shootings and murders are actually down.
The deadly violence started just before 11 p.m. near the intersection of Classon and Atlantic Avenues in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, where police say someone on a bicycle pulled up to the passenger side of a Jeep Grand Cherokee while it was stopped at a red light and fired into the vehicle.
A 37-year-old male passenger was struck in the chest and leg, and police say the the 31-year-old woman driving the vehicle then stepped on the gas and ultimately crashed.
The man was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, while the woman appeared uninjured but was taken to the hospital for evaluation.
About 45 minutes later, police officers found a 30-year-old man who had suffered stab wounds inside a vehicle on East Gun Hill Road in the Bronx.
He was later pronounced dead by EMS, and police said an investigation revealed he had been stabbed during a dispute with another man nearby.
According to investigators, the victim then got in the car and tried to drive off, but struck a pole.
Around the same time, police officers in Queens discovered another gunshot victim in the back seat of a car on Sutphin Boulevard in South Jamaica.
The 32-year-old man had been shot in the neck and chest and was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he died.
Later, a 28-year-old man walked into the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds he said were sustained at the same location.
No arrests have been made in any of the incidents.
Police released crime statistics Thursday that showed overall crime is up, driven by grand larceny, robbery and burglary. Crime in the transit system was up more than 40% in June.
But the statistics showed that shootings and murders are both down, 24.2% and 31.6%, respectively.
"This is real, tangible progress against violence in this city," New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. "The NYPD's work to drive down gun violence in New York City is taking hold, with the number of shootings decreasing across all five boroughs. We have taken thousands of guns off the streets, both traditional firearms and ghost guns, and made significant illegal-weapon interdictions along with our law enforcement partners. We are encouraged by this downward trend in gun violence as summer gets underway, but realize that we must remain focused on our critical public-safety mission. The lives of New Yorkers depend on it."
The NYPD's initiatives are driving gun arrests to a 27-year high. More than 3,700 guns were seized last month.
Gun arrests are up 4% over this time last year, with 2,381 so far in 2022, the highest since 1995.
However, only 20% of those arrested remain behind bars, Chief Michael LiPetri said.
"We're arresting the same people over and over again," Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said.
Still, overall crime in New York City increased by 31.1% in June 2022 compared with June 2021, and high profile incidents continue to create a perception that the city is going in the wrong direction.
Sewell conceded there may be a perception of a more dangerous city, but she decried the "perception among criminals that there are no consequences for their actions."
Police commanders say they are in constant contact with prosecutors and have urged state lawmakers to consider whether a suspect is a danger to the community before releasing him without bail.
On Thursday, anti-violence activists marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in a show of unity, urging the NYPD and prosecutors to do more to protect their communities.
"We need more police officers that are visible on the street," said Bishop Gerald Seabrooks of Rehoboth Cathedral. "If you are criminal carrying a gun and you see a police on the corner you're not going to start shooting unless you want to go to jail."
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