5 Murders Reported in New York City in Past 24 Hours

August 21, 2019 Updated: August 22, 2019

New York City, which boasts one of the lowest murder rates among big cities in the United States, has just noted an unusual spike in homicides, with five killings reported in the past 24 hours.

According to ABC7, the suspects in all murders remain at large. All incidents involved the use of a firearm.

The most recent homicide took place shortly after 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20, in Coney Island. Two male victims were found shot, according to police cited by ABC7, with a 27-year-old man suffering a gunshot wound to the stomach and a 38-year-old man shot in the head. Both men were taken to Coney Island Hospital where they succumbed to their wounds.

Another incident took place in Brooklyn, where a male victim was shot in the hip. At around 9 p.m., the man died at the hospital.

A 25-year-old man was shot to death outside his Queens home at around 8 p.m., ABC7 reported, while an 18-year-old man was fatally shot in the same neighborhood at around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Police continue to investigate all five slayings.

NYC Gun Laws

Compared to many places in the United States, gun laws in New York City are considered to be strict.

Citing the National Rifle Association-Institute of Legislative Action, NYCityLens says it is “incredibly hard” to obtain a firearm permit in New York City relative to other locations.

“Moreover, the license to carry a concealed gun is the hardest to get. It is given on a ‘may issue’ basis, which means you can be denied the privilege of carrying the gun around even if you own one,” the publication notes, adding that “neither New York City or New York state allows a gun to be openly carried.”

Mark Woodward of gunstocarry.com, a blog, writes: “The New York state gun laws are regarded as very restrictive and operate on a ‘May Issue’ policy at the local county level. This means that the issuance of a pistol license is entirely up to the issuing officer. As a rough rule the higher the population of a county the more restrictive the gun laws become with New York City being the most restrictive.”

Murder Rate in New York City

According to NYPD figures for the year to date up to Aug. 11, the number of murders in 2019 so far is 181, compared to 191 for the same period last year. This represents a drop of 5.2 percent.

Overall, the NYC murder rate has fallen significantly over the past several decades. The number of homicides in 2001, compared to 1990, fell by 71 percent. The total rate of serious crimes including rape, robbery, and murder, fell by 69 percent for the same period.

From 2001 to 2018, the murder rate fell by a further 54 percent, while the total rate of serious crimes fell by a further 40 percent.

Crime rates in NYC, a historical perspective, prepared by NYPD CompStat. (NYPD)

The murder rate in the nation’s 30 largest cities overall has seen a similarly significant drop, according to a report published by the Brennan Center for Justice. The 2018 homicide rate in these cities was 8.0 percent lower than in 2017.

“Modest declines in most cities explain this decrease,” the Brennan Center noted in a press release. “The murder rate in Chicago, which increased significantly in 2015 and 2016, declined by nearly 12 percent but remains roughly 40 percent above 2014 levels. Baltimore, another city that continues to struggle with violence, also saw its murder rate decline by 9.1 percent.”

Homicides per 100,000 people. (Brennan Center for Justice)

Broken down into individual cities, the 2018 homicide rate in NYC, expressed as the number of murders per 100,000 people, was significantly lower (at 3.4) compared to the cities that topped the table: Baltimore (50.7), Detroit (36.5), and Washington DC (22.7).

The cities with the lowest number of homicides per 100,000 of population were, according to the report, San Diego (2.4), San Jose (2.7), and El Paso (3.3).

“Some cities saw their murder rates rise in 2018, such as Washington, DC (35.6 percent) and Philadelphia (8.5 percent),” the Brennan Center noted. “These increases suggest a need to better understand how and why murder is increasing in some cities. New York City’s murder rate also increased, but by less than 1 percent, making it essentially the same as the 2017 rate.”

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