A 14-year-old boy was found fatally shot in a Queens driveway early Tuesday, and investigators were exploring whether the killing was connected to a shooting on a nearby block the night before, officials said.
Officers responding to a 911 call around 7 a.m. found the boy’s body outside a house on Beach 67th Street in the Arverne section of the Rockaways, the police said. He had been shot once in the back and was declared dead at the scene, the police said.
The boy, whom the police identified as Shawn Frye of Paterson, N.J., was the latest young person to be killed amid persistent gun violence that Mayor Eric Adams has said his administration is committed to stemming.
Officials said on Tuesday that detectives were examining the possibility that he had been shot Monday night when an assailant opened fire around the corner, on Beach 68th Street.
In that episode, the police said, an 18-year-old boy was shot in the face and left hand around 9:30 p.m. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in critical but stable condition, the police said. No arrests had been made by Tuesday afternoon, officials said.
Crime in New York City generally remains historically low, but the pandemic’s arrival was accompanied by a spike in shootings that has begun to subside only lately, police data shows.
There were 782 shootings citywide through July 24, about 9 percent fewer than to the same point last year, the data shows; the number of victims was down about 6 percent. (The data was less rosy in the seven major crime categories, including murder, robbery, grand larceny and car theft, which rose nearly 40 percent overall through July 24.)
Even as the number of shootings has started to dwindle, the ages of some victims have been striking: a 14-year-old boy fatally shot on an East Harlem street in an apparently targeted attack; a 12-year-old boy killed by a hail of bullets while in a parked car in Brooklyn; a 3-year-old girl hit by a stray bullet while leaving a day care center in Queens; an 11-month-old girl hit by a stray bullet while in a parked car in the Bronx.
Rakesh Ramsamooj, who lives on Beach 68th Street, said he had been awakened Monday night by what he thought were “firecrackers, at first.”
He said he was peering out a window toward his front yard to see what was happening when a bullet sailed into the house, flew through a china cabinet, shattering dishes on the way, and lodged in a wall. He told his wife and two daughters to drop to the ground.
“I get scared,” Mr. Ramsamooj said while standing near a bullet hole in his front-yard fence that matched ones in his window and front door. Drops of blood were visible on the nearby sidewalk. “We lie flat on the floor.”
The block where the killing occurred is in a largely residential area that is a short walk from Jamaica Bay and flanked by two wildlife sanctuaries.
The neighborhood is within the 100th Precinct, which had not recorded a murder this year as of July 24, police data shows. There had been three shootings in the precinct to that point, compared with seven in the same period last year, the data shows.
Lorraine Robinson, who lives near the shooting scene, said she was familiar with Shawn Frye and his older brother. Ms. Robinson said the brothers’ mother had died and that they now lived with their father. She said she had seen the brother on Tuesday near where the teen’s body was found. He was crying, Mr. Robinson said.
Nate Schweber contributed reporting.