At least 12 homicides recorded in Brooklyn in January, despite overall decrease in major crimes

police officer outside home
A police officer outside the Brooklyn apartment where two people were found shot and killed in a possible murder-suicide on Jan. 25.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

At least 12 homicides were reported in Brooklyn during the first month of 2024, even as crime rates dropped across the board, according to the latest NYPD statistics.

In the 28-day period from Jan. 1-28, rates of the seven major felonies — murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny, and grand larceny auto – dropped by an average of 10% across the borough, in comparison to the same time period last year. 

police at homicide scene in brooklyn
Most major felonies decreased in Brooklyn in January, despite a rash of violent incidents. File photo by Lloyd Mitchell

The Brooklyn South patrol saw reports of major crime drop 9%, from 1,233 total crimes in 2023 to 1,122 in 2024; while the Brooklyn North patrol reported an 11.71% drop, from 1,271 to 1,122. Rates of rape, burglary, and grand larceny dropped significantly in both patrols — while felony assaults, which were high across Brooklyn through the end of last year, decreased by 15.7% in Brooklyn South and 2.1% in Brooklyn North.

Both patrols saw stubbornly high levels of robbery and grand larceny auto. Compared to last January, robberies rose 18.6% — from 140 to 166 — in Brooklyn South, and 4.7%, from 170 to 178, in Brooklyn North. Grand larceny auto increased by 72.6% in Brooklyn South for a total of 164, and by 7.9% in Brooklyn North, for a total of 136. 

Homicide rose in some Brooklyn neighborhoods

Homicide increased by 16.7% in Brooklyn North, with a total of seven murders reported, compared to six last year. Though homicide was down by 44.4% in Brooklyn South, the patrol still saw a total of five murders from Jan 1-28. 

The murders reported in January included domestic disputes, shootings, and at least one incident suspected to be gang-related.

On Jan. 2, 15-year-old Javel Lawton was shot outside Bayview Houses in the 69th Precinct. Lawton was rushed to the hospital but died from his injuries. Cops later said they suspected that Lawton had been killed by gang members, though it was unclear if the victim was part of the gang himself. 

scene of bayview houses homicide
15-year-old Javel Lawton was shot outside Bayview Houses on Jan. 2. File photo by Dean Moses

Ten days later, 24-year-old Shakira Serrano was fatally struck by a car in what the NYPD immediately declared a homicide. Cops later arrested 33-year-old Naomi Broomes for allegedly running over Serrano, who had previously dated Broomes’ boyfriend, in what police called an incident of “borderline domestic violence.

On Jan. 14, 45-year-old Richard Henderson was fatally shot on board a 3 train in Crown Heights after he reportedly tried to break up a fight between passengers.

On Jan. 19, a double stabbing in the 75th Precinct left a 58-year-old woman dead and her 36-year-old son badly injured — and just a day later, a Borough Park couple were stabbed and killed — allegedly by their own son — in the 66th Precinct. On Jan. 22, a man was shot and killed on the street in the 73rd Precinct. 

An anonymous tip submitted to police on Jan. 22 led to the discovery of a dismembered body inside a Nostrand Avenue apartment, according to NBC New York. Cops later identified the victim as Kawsheen Gelzer, who was reportedly killed over a drug dispute. 

Five people were shot and killed in four separate incidents across Brooklyn on the night of Jan. 24, including a possible murder-suicide in Park Slope — the nabe’s first murder in almost two years. 

police van in park slope
A police van outside the scene of a suspected murder-suicide in Park Slope. File photo by Lloyd Mitchell

On the second-t0-last day of the month, a 21-year-old was found shot and killed at a Crown Heights apartment building. Cops are still searching for the victim’s killer.  

Police recorded a total of 16 murders between Jan. 1-28, 2023, according to NYPD statistics. Though murder dropped by 11.9% citywide in 2023, homicides in Brooklyn North are up 133% since 2022, and 150% in Brooklyn South. 

Most other violent crimes decreased, despite outliers

In total, only seven of Brooklyn’s 23 police precincts reported an increase in overall crime — the 62nd, 63rd, 66th, 67th, 68th, 72nd, and 79th. Of those precincts, the 67th Precinct, which encompasses parts of Flatbush and Remsen Village, saw the most dramatic rise — crime rose by more than 20% in the precinct, driven by increases in robbery, felony assault, burglary, and grand larceny auto. 

Park Slope’s 78th Precinct, on the other hand, saw the most significant dip in crime – overall major felonies dropped 44.35% in the precinct when compared to last year. Grand larceny in the nabe declined by 61.8%, rape by 50%, assault by 40%, burglary by 31.2%, and robbery by 10%. 

Ten precincts saw an uptick in robberies — the 61st, 63rd, 66th, 67th, 70th, 76th, 75th, 79th, 83rd, and 84th, while robberies remained flat in four precincts. In the 67th Precinct, robberies rose by more than 133%, from 15 last year to 35 this year. Bushwick’s 83rd Precinct similarly reported a 135.7% rise in robberies. 

bath beach robbery suspects
Three armed men robbed a Bath Beach home on Jan. 5. File photo courtesy of NYPD Crimestoppers

During one such robbery in Sunset Park on Jan. 12, a group of three men ganged up on a 13-year-old boy and stole his sneakers after physically assaulting him. In another, on Jan. 5, four armed men broke into a Bath Beach home, stabbed a resident, and stole a cell phone and cash.

Grand larceny auto, however, remained by far the most common crime in Brooklyn — 17 precincts marked an increase in vehicle thefts, including the 60th, 61st, 62nd, 63rd, 66th, 67th, 68th, 69th, 70th, 71st, 72nd, 78th, 73rd, 75th, 81st, 83rd, and 88th. Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, in the 68th Precinct, saw the most dramatic rise in grand larceny auto, at 233.3% — 20 vehicles were stolen in the precinct between Jan. 1-28, according to the data, while just six were stolen in the same time period in 2023. 

Seven precincts — the 62nd, 67th, 72nd, 76th, 75th, 90th and 94th — saw a rise in assaults, with a 42% increase, from 16 to 23, reported in the 72nd Precinct, which encompasses Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace.