By Verena Dobnik
NEW YORK — A wave of violence swept New York City over the weekend as 21 people were shot, four of them fatally, authorities said Monday.
The shootings, which included the separate woundings of 10- and 12-year-old boys, made for the third weekend in June that at least a dozen people were shot, police said. In the last week of June, 35 people were shot, down from 39 gunshot victims the same week a year ago, according to New York Police Department statistics. A breakdown between those killed and those wounded was not immediately available.
This year, 611 people have been shot in the city compared with 554 for the same period last year.
"We've had an increase, a temporary increase, in shootings," Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said. "Crime goes up, it goes down."
After a crime drop in recent years, the spate of violence has raised alarms. A group of Brooklyn residents organized what they called an "emergency town hall meeting" Monday.
The 10-year-old boy wounded on a street outside his Coney Island home was recovering after being caught in a hail of bullets that grazed his thigh as he walked with friends to a grocery store Saturday. Also shot was a 25-year-old man reported in stable condition.
In the Bronx on Sunday, the 12-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.
The bloodshed spilled into Monday, when a man demanding a job at an iron works in Brooklyn opened fire and wounded two employees, police said. He kept officers at bay for two hours before turning killing himself.
Bratton said more than 1,000 young graduates of the city's police academy will soon be hitting city streets, partnering with veteran officers in the most violent, crime-ridden neighborhoods.
Residents planned to meet Monday evening in Brooklyn's 77th Police Precinct, which includes the Crown Heights and Prospect Heights neighborhoods. Three people have died in 11 area shootings since late May, according to Shalawn Langhorne, in charge of public safety for the community board organizing the gathering.
So far this year in the 77th Precinct, 23 people were shot, compared with 20 last year, according to NYPD figures.
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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press