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NYPD Investigating Dozens Of Shootings Following Violent, Deadly Weekend; City Leaders Searching For Solutions

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The search for solutions to out of control gun violence continued Monday after nearly 30 separate incidents in New York City over the weekend.

New York became the city of memorial candles as bullets flew and gun violence continued unabated, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported.

There's one on Taylor Avenue in the Bronx where a 35-year-old man was pumped full of bullets.

There's a single candle marking a deadly shooting in Red Hook, Brooklyn where residents said they don't need visual reminders of violence they hear constantly.

"Since I've been here, it's been about the third or fourth time," Sam Ramirez said. "I have not been here a year yet."

"It doesn't matter if you walk during the day, the afternoon, anytime. It happens," said Marie Tull.

Watch John Dias's Report

Around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, police said, a group of suspects approached two men standing outside 100 Centre Mall and started shooting. Felton Durant, 23, was killed. Another man was injured.

The night before, outside a Tesla building just a few blocks away, police said an innocent bystander was shot while she was leaving a party. The 30-year-old former police officer was shot in the stomach by two men who police said were denied access.

"It's a concern. There's an escalation of gang activity," Louis Straker, clergy lead of the 67th Precinct Clergy Council, told CBS2's John Dias.

Straker said the growing violence is a citywide problem. Many think it's being fueled by the pandemic.

"It's a deep indication of what this summer is going to be like, and we have to get ahead of these shootings," Straker said.

Dr. Robert Gonzalez, professor of criminal justice at Saint John's University and the NYPD's former assistant commissioner for training, said Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn't get it. He said Hizzonor needs to reestablish anti-crime patrols, go after quality of life crimes and send a clear message that he respects police.

"They need to, again, implement and bring back the plainclothes units in the local precinct. They are our Marines on the streets that are addressing guns and violence and street crime. We have nobody out there doing this right now," Dr. Gonzalez said.

Watch Mayor De Blasio's 4/26/21 Press Conference

This past weekend, there were 28 gun incidents and 31 victim. There were four gun incidents and five victims during the same time last year.

In his proposed new budget, Mayor de Blasio sought to deal with gun violence by establishing partnerships with communities. The NYPD was kept at 35,000. No extra cops.

The mayor insisted recent increases in gun arrests will turn the tide.

"What makes you think that the increase in arrests mean anything when there are more guns and more incidents and more blood?" Kramer asked the mayor.

"Because the folks who are the best at public safety in the nation, the leaders of the NYPD, continue to identify the problem," de Blasio said.

Recently, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his Safe Summer NYC plan, shifting approximately 200 officers from administrative assignments to key areas.

"Until we can invest in bringing in new police officers to go out there in the street and combat the increase in crime here in New York City, all these other plans and ideas and projects, to me, are just lip service," Gonzalez said.

But people who work in the community disagree.

"I don't think that having more police is necessarily the answer. Although it would be great to have police out in the community, not just over policing... expecting gun violence to happen. But engaging the community is key," said Iesha Sekou, CEO of Street Corner Resources.

The mayor insisted his new budget was a recovery budget. But many say there will be no recovery unless there is a reduction in gun crime.

Police have yet to make any arrests in the Red Hook shootings. But sources told CBS2 investigators have leads.

CBS2's John Dias contributed to this report.

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