Shootings put many on edge

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The sound of gunfire seems to be a common occurrence in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.

Police said that two shootings took place in these communities this past week – sobering news that’s led residents to fear that violence here is on the rise.

Those fears were addressed Wednesday afternoon as City Councilmember Letitia James held an emergency press conference at the corner of Grand and Putnam avenues, where one of the shootings took place.

“While we strive for a crime- free society we also recognize realities,” James said. “In the last few months within a certain sector of Clinton Hill there’s been a number of shootings. I have repeatedly lobbied for additional officers in the 88th precinct, but to no avail.”

James alleged that the reason additional police have not been assigned to the 88th precinct is because the NYPD is driven by crime statistics, which are relatively low compared to other precincts in the Brooklyn area.

However, a number of residents have questioned these crime statistics in the 88th precincts, she said.

James said her office and the Society for Clinton Hill will begin mapping crime in Clinton Hill and log details of constituent experiences of interaction with the 88th Precinct.

Secondly, residents will have the opportunity to email letters to the mayor and Police commissioner Kelly seeking additional police officers in the 88th Precinct, she said.

Police said that a 38-year-old man was shot in the right calf as he chatted with a friend at the corner of Putnam and Grand avenues just before 10 p.m. on May 14.

Witnesses said that two black males in a tan sedan pulled up in front of the two men, lowered their car windows and fired nine shots at them before speeding away.

But, when interviewed, the victim, who did not live in the area, claimed that he “didn’t see anything.”

The next morning residents found the corner cordoned off as NYPD evidence collection teams searched for ballistic evidence that could connect them to the shooters.

Three days later, someone opened fire on a 24-year-old man at the corner of Lafayette and Classon avenues.

Police said that five shots were fired at the victim.

Several of the bullets went wild, blowing out the back window of a 2001 Ford Expedition. A passing B79 bus was also hit with stray gunfire, with a bullet hole found in the engine compartment on the driver’s side.

No bus passengers were injured during the Saturday afternoon shooting.

Police said that the 24-year-old victim was shot in the lower torso and rushed to Interfaith Hospital where he was listed in stable condition following treatment.

Investigators do not believe that the two incidents are related.

Residents said that the last shooting to take place in the area was two months earlier, when an up and coming rapper was gunned down at the corner of Fulton Street and Clinton Avenue. That homicide has yet to be solved, officials said.

- with Stephen Witt

Updated 3:48 pm, October 19, 2011
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