NYC lawmakers want new definition for mass shooting in wake of Brooklyn gun violence that killed one, wounded three
Lawmakers in New York trying to draw more resources into communities plagued by gun violence want to change the definition of “mass shooting.”
The reclassification push comes on the heels of a Brooklyn shooting last week that left one person dead and three wounded inside an apartment building known in the neighborhood for illicit activity.
“The country’s obsession with guns and the government’s failure to put gun control laws and real resources in place have created a public health crisis,” said Assemblywoman Monique Chandler-Waterman (D-Brooklyn), who represents the East Flatbush neighborhood where Emmanuel Soray was killed inside an E. 45th Street apartment.
“We can’t change what happened last week, but we have to impact what happens tomorrow by addressing the gun violence trend today.”
Soray, 39, was shot in the face and three other victims were wounded Saturday afternoon when a gunman started shooting inside the building near Snyder Avenue shortly before 2 p.m. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Kings County Hospital.
A 27-year-old woman was in treated at the same hospital after taking a bullet to the torso, and a third victim, a 40-year-old man, was shot in the leg.
A fourth victim emerged hours after the shooting when she sought treatment at a hospital in Elizabeth, N.J. for wounds to her arm and her buttocks, said police.
There have been no arrests.
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Chandler-Waterman said Soray was a father of five.
“He was a school bus driver who came from a big loving family and loved his Haitian food,” she said. Emmanuel could have been your son, your uncle, your brother or neighbor.”
Under a bill Chandler-Waterman is proposing in the state Assembly, a mass shooting would be defined as any gun violence that resulted in the death or injury of at least four people.
Declaring such violence as a mass shooting would allow communities to pursue additional funding resources from the state and federal governments.
At a media event Friday, Chandler-Waterman was joined by other gun control advocates, including Natasha Christopher, whose 14-year-old son, Akeal, died in 2012 after being shot in the head on a street in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood.
Christopher said she can’t believe she and other parents are still fighting the same battles.
“Not a day goes by without me missing my son,” Christopher said. “We are losing more children to gun violence than to automobile accidents. This has got to stop.”