Shooting Surge Continuing to Slow Across New York City

by Jeffrey A. Butts and Richard Espinobarros
August 9, 2021
JohnJayREC DataBits 2021-01

Police reported 486 shooting incidents across New York City in the second quarter of 2021 (April-June) compared with 361 incidents in the same quarter of 2020. Continuing a trend reported here in May 2021, the 35 percent increase in Q2 was an improvement over Q1 of 2021 (January-March) when shootings were up 51 percent over Q1 2020.

Quarter-specific comparisons are one way to address seasonal fluctuations in gun violence. Shootings increase in Spring and Summer before falling through Winter. Analyses can account for seasonal variation by comparing shootings in one quarter with the same quarter of a previous year. Shooting trends in New York City remain a serious concern, but these quarter-specific, one-year differences declined for three straight quarters. Both Q1 and Q2 in 2021 were improvements over Q3 in 2020 (July-September) when shootings were up 158 percent compared with Q3 2019.

Quarterly comparison trends varied by borough, with Brooklyn showing important gains. The Bronx and Manhattan demonstrated small improvements while Queens and Staten Island saw worrisome reversals as shootings in Q2 2021 were higher than in Q2 2020. However, those areas reported fewer shootings than other boroughs (67 in Queens, 15 in Staten Island), and their one-year differences in Q1 2021 were within their typical historical ranges.