By Bradford Betz | Fox News
With five months left in 2020, many remain pessimistic that the situation will improve.
New York City shootings so far in 2020 have surpassed the number of shootings for all of 2019, police confirmed to Fox News on Sunday.
The milestone was reached Saturday evening after a 24-year-old Bronx man walked into Lincoln Hospital with gunshot wounds, pushing the number of shootings in NYC to 777.
There were 776 total shootings for all of 2019, according to data compiled by the New York Post, which first reported the numbers.
An NYPD car in traffic on 7th Avenue at Times Square, Midtown Manhattan. (iStock)
And since Saturday evening, there have been even more shootings, a police spokesman told Fox News without elaborating.
The uptick in violence has reportedly affected every borough, with at least 942 people — either dead or injured — accounting for the victims.
Saturday night’s victim told police he was near the Mitchel Houses project in Mott Haven at 135th Street and Alexander Avenue when he was caught between crossfire.
Mario Martinez, a neighbor who’s been living in the area for more than half a century, told the Post he has “never seen it this bad.”
“There’s more guns. I’m telling you when I grew up here the worst weapon was a knife,” Martinez said. “Chains and bats. That’s when I grew up. Then came the next generation. Guns.”
But with still five months to go before the year is over, many remain pessimistic that the situation will improve.
Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and professor of criminal justice at John Jay College, told The Post: “It only gets worse from here.”
“As the shootings continue, so will retaliation. It’s a vicious cycle that the NYPD worked hard to mitigate, but that they are no longer able and in some cases willing to do.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio and police officials have offered counter-explanations for the rise in violence, including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the closure of courts and a general rise in anti-cop sentiment.
Last month, the tragic shooting death of 1-year-old Davell Gardner, who was struck in the stomach with a bullet during a family cookout, led to calls to reinstate the NYPD’s Anti-Crime Unit.
The NYPD shut down the unit in mid-June amid nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, with its roughly 600 plainclothes officers being reassigned to other divisions.
Commissioner Dermot Shea said the Anti-Crime Unit is no longer a fit in a department that has shifted to relying more heavily on intelligence, data and tools like video, DNA and shot-detection technology to fight crime.
“Make no mistake, this is a seismic shift in the culture of how the NYPD polices this great city,” Shea said. “It will be felt immediately in the communities that we protect.”
Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report. Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News.