New York lawmakers trying to bring more resources to communities plagued by gun violence want to change the definition of a “mass shooting.”
The reclassification push comes on the heels of a shooting in Brooklyn last week that left one person dead and three injured inside an apartment building known in the neighborhood for illicit activity.
“The country’s obsession with guns and the government’s failure to implement gun control laws and real resources have created a public health crisis,” said Assemblywoman Monique Chandler-Waterman (D-Brooklyn), who represents the neighborhood of East Flatbush where Emmanuel Soray was. murdered inside an apartment on E. 45th Street.
“We can’t change what happened last week, but we have to impact what will happen tomorrow by addressing the trend of gun violence today.”
Soray, 39, was shot in the face and three other victims were injured Saturday afternoon when a gunman began shooting inside the building near Snyder Avenue shortly before 2 p.m. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Kings County Hospital.
A 27-year-old woman was treated at the same hospital after being shot in the torso, and a third victim, a 40-year-old man, was shot in the leg.
A fourth victim emerged hours after the shooting as she sought treatment at a hospital in Elizabeth, NJ for injuries to her arm and buttocks, police said.
There have been no arrests.
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Chandler-Waterman said Soray was the father of five children.
“He was a school bus driver who came from a big loving family and loved his Haitian food,” he said. Emmanuel could have been your son, your uncle, your brother or your neighbor”.
Under a bill Chandler-Waterman is proposing in the state Assembly, a mass shooting would be defined as any gun violence that results in the death or injury of at least four people.
Declaring such violence a mass shooting would allow communities to seek additional funding resources from the state and federal governments.
At a press event Friday, Chandler-Waterman joined other gun control advocates, including Natasha Christopher, whose 14-year-old son, Akeal, died in 2012 after being shot in the head on a street in the Bushwick neighborhood. from Brooklyn.
Christopher said she can’t believe that she and other parents are still fighting the same battles.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t miss my son,” Christopher said. “We are losing more children to gun violence than to car accidents. This has to stop.”