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Several People Shot, Including 7-Year-Old Boy, As Crowd Gathers To Celebrate J'Ouvert In Brooklyn

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Five people were shot, including a 7-year-old boy, early Monday in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Gunfire erupted as pre-dawn celebrations were underway for the West Indian Day Parade, which is supposed to be virtual this year.

Neighbors said a large group was celebrating J'Ouvert with a DJ at the corner of Crown Street and Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights. Shortly before 3 a.m., someone opened fire.

Exclusive surveillance video shows the crowd ducking and running for cover.

Police said three men, a 47-year-old mother, who was later identified as Patricia Brathwaite, and her 7-year-old son were shot, but they're all expected to recover, CBS2's Dave Carlin reported.

Brathwaite was shot through the foot.

"I got out of the cab, was coming home, and a group of people were walking down the block and I was waiting for them to pass and somebody started to shoot," Brathwaite told CBS2's Alice Gainer. "I just got shot and I turned around my son was on the ground. I didn't see anyone pull a gun or shooting the gun."

MORE: Tracking Shootings In New York City

A neighbor told CBS2 the woman and child had stopped by to check on her older daughter, who was attending the party.

"Only reason she was over here was because her daughter wasn't answering the phone. After she spoke to her daughter, they were walking right here, and that's when three shots went off," the neighbor said. "I saw the little boy on the floor full of blood, and I ran."

NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said police believe the shooting was gang related.

CBS2 has learned a 15-year-old and a 21-year-old were arrested for gun possession, but neither has been charged in the shooting. It appears there guns had not been fired.

"That fact is, in our city, a 6-year-old, a 10-year-old, a 100-year-old shouldn't be shot, period," Crown Heights resident Sam Stern said.

Neighbor Latrice Eleby discovered her parked car had a bullet lodged inside of it later in the morning.

"I was shocked. I was surprised," Eleby said. "I have kids and I'm very glad that we were not in the car at the time that happened. We was already inside."

MORE: 'Carnival Is Freedom:' New Yorkers Celebrate Caribbean Culture By Moving Party Online

Large-scale J'Ouvert festivities were not permitted this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the West Indian Day Parade was also canceled. Instead, organizers encouraged people to celebrate virtually.

"People did take advantage of this historic event and were out here engaging and having a good time," said Harrison. "I'm sure you understand that the 6-year-old was not the intended target, but we're still trying to find out exactly what happened."

The NYPD set up light towers and increased both its uniform and undercover presence in the area, but that didn't stop hundreds from taking to Eastern Parkway.

"People were still coming out," one man said.

"It's really dumb, it's real dumb. They wake me up last night because so many in the street and a lot of noise," a woman added. "They should stay in bed instead of being on the street, because of what's going on and they have to protect themselves."

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and the God Squad, clergy members fighting to end gun violence, said they've been out for days engaging with the community.

"It's a sign of weakness to shoot in a crowd," Williams said, adding, "I wish those few hundred people who were here just stayed home like the rest of their neighbors did and we ask folks to celebrate in small groups with family and friends. Had they done that we may be having a different story."

Preliminary numbers show there were 17 shootings with 17 victims, including three fatalities, over the holiday weekend.

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