Police: Suffolk has seen at least 8 shootings, 1 fatal, over past 2.5 weeks
A woman was shot inside her home Wednesday -- the latest in a string of shootings in Suffolk County.
Police say they normally respond to more shootings in the late summer months, but this year there has been a 22% increase in people opening fire in Suffolk County.
Over the past 2 1/2 weeks, there have been at least eight shootings in the county, including one that turned fatal in Huntington Station on Aug. 22.
Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart says three of the recent shootings have involved women getting struck by bullets while in their own homes. A 25-year-old was hit in Central Islip Wednesday morning, a 19-year-old was injured in Huntington Station on Tuesday and a 28-year-old was hurt two weeks ago in Greenlawn.
"They're all nonfatal shootings. I can tell you that the locations were targeted, but those women were not targeted specifically. They are drug-related and/or gang-related incidents," says Hart.
Hart says overall, there have only been six more nonfatal shootings this year compared to 2019. The number of fatal shootings is at the same level.
Hart blamed "challenges" that include bail reform, the pandemic and recent protests.
"Individuals that are being released on their own recognizance that had not been previously, whether it's COVID, where we had to have officers step back slightly on search warrants, which is something that we always use to take guns off the street, and now, with the protests, we're seeing a level of cooperation that is a little bit challenging," says Hart.
The commissioner says her department is throwing all of its resources at combating crime, including partnering with federal authorities and doing targeted patrols in specific areas where crime has risen.