By Laila Kearney
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two people were killed and 21 injured in more than a dozen separate shootings in New York City over the weekend, police said on Monday.
The gun violence, scattered around four New York boroughs, is part of a recent increase in shooting incidents in the city despite a sharp decline in crime over the past two decades.
The fatal gunshots took place just before 3 a.m. on Sunday, when an unidentified assailant opened fire on 21-year-old Kenny Jimenez and 29-year-old Francisco Mercedez outside of a deli in northern Manhattan, according to the New York Police Department.
Jimenez was struck in the neck and found unresponsive at the scene, and Mercedez was hit in the chest and died about an hour later at a local hospital, the department said in a statement.
Three other men were shot on Sunday in a public housing building in the Bronx, police said. In Jamaica, Queens, four people were struck by bullets when a man exited a car and opened fire on a crowd.
Separately, police shot a man who was allegedly attacking his girlfriend with a knife at an apartment building in the Bronx at about 4 a.m. on Sunday.
All told, there were eight shootings occurred in the city on Sunday, including two in the borough of Brooklyn, police said.
On Saturday, nine people were injured in five separate incidents, including a 17-year-old boy and two 18-year-old men at the Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem in Manhattan, police said.
Aside from the knife incident where police shot the suspect, no arrests have been made.
New York City is experiencing an uptick in shootings this year, according to recent city data.
Shooting incidents increased by 13 percent to 702 between January and early August this year from 621 in the same period last year. The number of gunshot victims has also risen by about 11.8 percent, from 736 during the first seven and a half months of 2013 to 823 during the same period in 2014.
Police also said there were multiple stabbing incidents in the city over the weekend.
In one, a commuter, who police said appeared to be drinking, wounded three men with a knife as he got off a subway train at New York’s Grand Central Terminal on Saturday morning.
(The story corrects time period in 11th paragraph.)
(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Susan Heavey)