May 31, 2015 | 7:15amA surge in New York City murders — including four people slain in just five bloody hours as the weekend began — has grieving family members begging Mayor de Blasio to bring back the NYPD’s right to search for guns.
“We need stop-and- frisk,” Stacey Calhoun, the devastated uncle of one of the four fatalities, said Saturday afternoon, tears filling his eyes over the nephew he had just lost. Jahhad Marshall — a charismatic 23-year- old with a promising future as a chef — had died of a stray bullet to his back early that morning outside the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, police said.
“Somebody has to put their foot down,” the anguished uncle said. “A lot of people would agree with stop-and- frisk if it’s for the safety among us,” he said. “They used to fight with their hands, he said. “It seems like all these kids have guns these days.”
Marshall — apparently an innocent bystander to a pre-dawn playground shootout — was one of four fatalities in The Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn from Friday night into Saturday, bloodshed that began in The Bronx at 11:20 p.m. when a gunman fatally blasted Joel Rivera, 23, multiple times in the neck outside his home on Andrews Avenue.
Less than two hours later in the South Bronx, officers responding to a 911 call at East 143rd Street and Third Avenue found a 22-year- old man mortally wounded with multiple stab wounds.
Marshall was fatally shot at about 2:35 a.m. at the Queensbridge Houses, while an 18- year-old man and a 29-year- old woman received non-fatal gunshot wounds in the same hail of gunfire.
The fourth fatality was at the Marcus Garvey Houses in Brownsville, where a 40-year- old man was shot just before 4 a.m.
“It’s scary how many guns are out here now,” said a resident of the Brownsville project, who gave her name as Ann and her age as 72.
“They shouldn’t just stop and frisk any of our young black men — but they need to do something about these guns,” she said.
As another woman at the Marcus Garvey Houses said of stop-and- frisk, “They need to target it. With all these shootings, people getting killed, do it, but stop and frisk the guys you know from experience might have a gun, and not some kid who’s trying to better his life and get out of here.”
The carnage is just the latest in a string of murders and shootings, which have been way up citywide this year over last year.
There were 133 murders between January 1 and May 30 this year, up 17.7 percent from the previous year, according to police statistics.
Shootings were up 7.7 percent over the same period — 434 this year as opposed to 403 last year.
Yet Mayor de Blasio gave the blandest of responses when asked by reporters Saturday about the previous night’s four fresh corpses, ing which, as of Saturday night, all the killers remained at large.
“We are continuing to update our strategies,” answered de Blasio, who has made banning stop-and- frisk a cornerstone of his administration.
“We saw this about the same time last year,” the mayor said.
“We had a spike that we had to deal with, but we pushed it back,” he said optimistically. “We had real concerns, legitimate concerns last spring and we ended up with the best year on record in a generation in terms of lowering murder and lowering crime.”
Overall, crime is down over last year, and the violence is “first and foremost a gang problem,” the mayor said.
Additional reporting by Kevin Fasick and Shawn Cohen