News 12 | Community organization holds town hall to address uptick in gun violence

Originally published by News 12 – The Bronx, May 15, 2024


A community town hall was held on Wednesday in Mount Eden in response to the escalating issue of gun violence in the neighborhood.

Local leaders, law enforcement representatives from the 44th Precinct and community members came together to discuss how to address the uptick in shootings.

New Settlement, a community-led organization hosted the event.

“Our students, our young people and their families have experienced this type of trauma, we want to really speak to our elected officials and give community members access so that they can ask the important questions about what they are doing to combat gun violence,” Rigaud Noel, New Settlement executive director.

The organization says its youth centers were on lockdown twice this year because of shootings in the neighborhood.

“We have young people that are scared to take the train home. So, we actually started to send some of our young people home in cabs so that they feel safer. And so it really impacts our ability to provide critical services to the community,” said Noel.

In April, a 29-year-old man was shot and killed, and three other men were injured when gunmen on scooters opened fire. It happened on East Mount Eden Avenue and Townsend Avenue at 6:15 p.m.

Two months prior, on Feb. 12, six people were shot on a subway platform at the Mount Eden Avenue station. The victims ranged from 14 to 71 years old. A 35-year-old man died.

“Regarding resources, we are down 50 police officers compared to last year,” said NYPD Capt. Yoel Hidalgo, of the 44th Precinct. “But if we get more resources, we can move mountains”

Shootings are up 35% in the 44th Precinct compared to this time last year, with 19 shootings so far this year from 14 at this same time in 2023, according to NYPD crime stats.

Hidalgo says policy changes could make a difference in their policing efforts.

“We are handcuffed the way we have been policing, there are people who have been arrested and they’re out the next day,“ said Hidaglo.