A man and a women were shot at Empire Boulevard and Flatbush Avenue during the pre-parade festivities in Crown Heights shortly before 4 a.m.
The 20-something-year-old man, who was shot in his chest, died of his injuries, according to police. A 66-year-old woman was shot in her arms and hands. She was in stable condition at Kings County Hospital Monday morning.
A short time later and just a block away at Empire Boulevard and Washington Avenue, a 22-year-old woman was shot in the head, according to police. She was shot just before 4:15 a.m. and transported to Kings County Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Another 20-year-old man was shot in the leg just before 7 a.m. near the corner of Clarkson Avenue and Rodgers Avenue. He is expected to survive.
A 23-year-old woman was also stabbed in the lower back at Ocean Avenue and Empire Boulevard shortly before 4:20 a.m. Police say she refused medical attention.
Another person was stabbed in the neck at Eastern Parkway and Classon Avenue around 5:30 a.m. That person was taken to Methodist Hospital in serious condition.
In addition to the shootings and stabbings, two people were seriously injured when a motorcycle they were on was hit by a car. They were hit by the car around 5:20 a.m. and taken to Kings County Hospital in serious condition.
The West Indian Day parade is a rollicking, colorful celebration of Caribbean culture, music, style and food that draws hundreds of thousands of people each year, but it is also a celebration that has been marred by violence in recent years.
Last year, a former aide to Gov. Cuomo, Carey Gabay, was shot by a stray bullet and killed before the parade. Three men have been charged with murder in his death. Another man was arrested in California this month in connection with the deadly shooting.
Mayor de Blasio promised that there would be “the most extensive security ever” at this year’s J’Ouvert celebration, a year after Gabay was shot and killed at the overnight festival in Brooklyn.
“Safety is a must, we appreciate it,” one woman said. “Every year it’s a big celebration, as you can see, and we welcome the presence of the police.”
De Blasio and top NYPD officials said twice as many police would be at the pre-dawn festival that draws as many as 250,000 people to Prospect Park before the West Indian Day Parade.
The NYPD said that 200 light towers and dozens of security cameras will be at this year’s parade in addition to the increased number of officers. Parade-goers said Monday morning that they were glad the police were keeping an eye on things.