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To Stop Gun Violence, This Police Captain Is Trying a Novel Approach

Classes had just been dismissed at a high school in Brooklyn for teenagers who needed a second chance, when a student named Devonte Lewis stepped outside and into the cross hairs of his rivals.

Classes had just been dismissed at a high school in Brooklyn for teenagers who needed a second chance, when a student named Devonte Lewis stepped outside and into the cross hairs of his rivals. Two teenage gunmen opened fire, the police said, killing Mr. Lewis, who was 17.

The murder last April and the arrests in connection with it ignited an already simmering feud between Mr. Lewis’s grieving friends in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn and a rival crew in Flatbush that the authorities said his killers belonged to.

“That’s when it blew up,” said Capt. Derby St. Fort, the commanding officer of the 61st Precinct, which includes Sheepshead Bay. “People got shot, people were getting caught with guns, and I felt like there was urgency.”

Capt. Derby St. Fort, the commanding officer of the 61st Precinct, has been participating in weekly therapy meetings with teenagers at risk of being involved in gun violence.Credit...Sarah Blesener for The New York Times Classes had just been dismissed at a high school in Brooklyn for teenagers who needed [...]