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Communities Making Efforts To Control Gun Violence Amid Spike Across New York City

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The surge in gun violence across New York City has left some communities reeling, but there are efforts to bring it under control.

Spiking violence put bullet casings on two dozen streets overnight Friday into Saturday, CBS2's Dave Carlin reports.

The crime scene tape went up as victims were loaded into ambulances on Malcolm X Boulevard near 113th Street.

Four people were shot there, all expected to survive.

RELATED STORY: Man Killed, 4 More Hurt In Overnight Shootings In Harlem

In another incident, a man was shot on a subway platform at Grand Central Terminal around 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Residents across the city are heartsick and disgusted.

"This is the community we live in, and every day something happened, somebody getting shot or something happened or getting robbed, it's a shame," one man in Harlem said.

"I think it's just something that's happening everywhere in the city," said another man in Harlem.

Year to year, there has been a shocking increase in shootings.

Comparing just one day, Aug. 14, 2019, saw two incidents with two victims, but a year later, there were 12 incidents with 20 victims.

MORE: Tracking Shootings In New York City

queens gun buyback
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz appeared at an all-day gun buyback event at Greater Springfield Community Church in Jamaica on Aug. 15, 2020. (Credit: Queens District Attorney's Office)

"We need to give hope to our younger generation," said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Katz joined community activists Saturday at a Stop The Violence demonstration in Far Rockaway, then appeared at an all-day gun buyback event at Greater Springfield Community Church in Jamaica.

No questions asked and $200 given for each one turned in.

"Every gun we take off the street today is a gun that will not be used in the neighborhood," Katz said. "As we prosecute shooters and drivers of violence that another generation doesn't come up and take the guns and start shooting as well."

Community activists say it's a deadly combination, that more violent crime is what you get when after-school and other recreational programs struggle.

RELATED STORY: Off-Duty Correction Officer Fatally Shot In Queens

Elizabeth McCarthy is CEO of the group Sheltering Arms, which goes into communities with high crime rates with outreach workers to establish trust.

"They cut so much summer programming, they're still unclear if there's going to be after-school programming," McCarthy said. "Kids get into trouble when they're not busy and when they don't have productive things and when they don't have hope."

"The violence interrupters' job is to go in and figure out who has problems with who and how do we stop that from spilling over," said Amy Wilkerson, vice president of Sheltering Arms.

Leaders of the group believe it will require great cooperation, investment and, unfortunately, time, which for some runs out in an instant.

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