Weekend of gun violence rattles Coney Island

Detectives from the 60th Precinct investigate their third shooting in three days outside of 2946 W. 23rd St.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Several Coney Island housing projects were riddled with gun violence over a particularly violent weekend in New York City — during which 20 people were shot on Saturday night alone.

Three shootings on Brooklyn’s southern tip left two people dead and four others injured, according to cops, who responded to reports of gun violence in the waterfront neighborhood on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

First, at around 10:45 pm on Aug. 21, an Uber driver was shot by a bicyclist while dropping a passenger off near West 23rd Street and Mermaid Avenue — just feet from the 60th Precinct and the nearby Police Service Area Precinct House. As of Sunday, cops said, the driver was expected to survive.

On the afternoon of Aug. 22, cops from PSA1 found 20-year-old Fabian Abney of Mermaid Avenue with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso on the seventh floor of the Surfside Houses on West 31st Street. Abney was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

At around 2 am on Aug. 23, officers responded to a report of a shooting outside the Carey Gardens Houses on West 23rd Street, where they found four men with gunshot wounds — including 27-year-old Kadeem Street, who was declared dead at the scene.

Detectives investigate Sunday’s shooting.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

More than 20 evidence markers littered outside the building, on the sidewalk, under scaffolding, and around a parked Nissan Rogue. Paramedics took two 35-year-old men and a 41-year-old man to nearby hospitals in serious but stable condition. No arrests have been made but investigations continue for all of the weekend’s shooting incidents.

The bloody weekend in Coney Island comes amid a substantial spike in gun violence around Brooklyn this year — but which has largely spared the neighborhood, according to police statistics

As of Aug. 16, the borough has seen 113 shooting victims, compared with just 49 during the same timeframe in 2019. Prior to this weekend however, the 60th Police Precinct, which encompasses Coney Island, had seen a decrease of victims of gun violence — from 10 last year, to just four in 2020.

Local activists say the People’s Playground is in desperate need of more resources to prevent an uptick in crime.

“The community needs outlets for these people,” Wayne Atkins said. “The gun violence is swinging in the wrong direction.”

Watkins said he’d seen Abney around the neighborhood, and that he “seemed like a good kid.”