Nearly three years after a shooter gunned down a man in broad daylight during a fit of road rage in the heart of Park Slope, the shooter remains on the loose.
According to a spokesperson from the NYPD’s Office of the Deputy Commissioner, the investigation is active and ongoing to find the perp who caused panic and fear on an otherwise sunny Friday afternoon.
The shooting occurred on March 13, 2020, just one day after then-Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and two days before city public schools closed.
Following what police believe was a traffic-related argument, the gunman got out of his car in Park Slope that afternoon and fired four shots through a white Chevy sedan’s windshield before fleeing in his vehicle at 4:45 p.m.
Despite many parents and school children filtering out of P.S. 321, just a half a block away, the gunman managed to escape without falling into police custody.
Authorities took the victim to the Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, where he died later that day.
Police cars patrolled the area for hours after the incident while officers searched for the assailant in a helicopter — but the gunman wasn’t found that day.
The following weeks were chaos for the New York City Police Department and the city at large. Police officers enforced social distancing rules, breaking up groups of people in public places and social gatherings, including funerals. Protests broke out across the U.S., including in Brooklyn, after the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota in March 25.
Since then, the Park Slope shooter has managed to evade detection.
Police cleared just 64% of homicide cases in 202o and 56% in 2021, according to data from the NYPD and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program compiled by Vital City. In 2021, 1,562 shooting incidents and 486 homicides were recorded citywide.
But gun violence is fairly unusual in Park Slope. No shooting incidents were reported in the 78th Precinct in 2022, though five murders were recorded in the nabe the same year, according to police data, and two homicides were recorded in 2020, the year of the unsolved road rage case.
“I heard the shots, and it sounded like it was firecrackers or something,” witness Allen Feldman told Brooklyn Paper after the shooting in 2020, remarking shocked that gun violence had just occurred in the quiet neighborhood. “You just don’t want to let yourself think that that could be what it is.”