A 12-year-old boy was shot dead while eating in a car in New York. Police say it appears he was hit mistakenly in a shootout

It appears the boy and his relative, a 20-year-old woman, were mistakenly caught in the gunfire exchange in Brooklyn and were not targets, a New York Police Department spokesperson said Friday.

An 8-year-old girl in the car with the boy and woman was not injured, police said. No arrests have been made, and police are trying to find the people involved in the shootout.

It was one of the latest examples of gun violence in New York City, where statistics show crime is up in every major category, which includes murder, rape, robbery and others.

“We are actually pleading for the public’s help and assistance in helping us solve this case,” Michael Kemper, assistant chief of NYPD Brooklyn South, said at a news conference Thursday night.

The driver, a Brooklyn woman, had pulled over so she and the children could eat, and shots were fired around 7:45 p.m., police said at Thursday’s news conference.

The gunfire came from people in two dark colored sedans, police said in a Friday news release. “A preliminary investigation determined that the victims were eating in the vehicle” when the shooting happened, the news release reads.

The boy, in the front passenger seat, was shot more than once, including once in the head, police said Friday.

The woman in the driver’s seat also was shot multiple times. She was taken to a hospital, was in surgery Thursday night and is expected to survive, according to police. She was in critical condition, police said Friday.

The uninjured girl was in a back seat, police said. The names of the three were not released.

NYPD deploys Neighborhood Safety Teams to battle gun violence, replacing controversial plainclothes unit

Joe Gulotta, deputy chief of NYPD Brooklyn South, asked the public in a news conference Thursday night to call in tips about two sedans that left the shooting scene.

New York Mayor Eric Adams said guns on New York City streets is a problem that needed fixing.

“It’s time for it to stop,” Adams said at the news conference. “That’s why we’re here. We’re going to do our job. We need everyone to help us, ending this senseless violence.”

A controversial unit within the NYPD that was revived to battle rising gun violence hit the streets last month, promising significant training, and even new uniforms, to prevent aggressive and abusive policing tactics that had plagued its predecessor.
The so-called Neighborhood Safety Teams, the latest version of plainclothes units designed to go after firearms, was to be deployed to roughly 25 neighborhoods officials say represent 80% of the gun violence in the city. When the unit is fully built, the specialized officers will be in 30 neighborhoods and several public housing projects, city officials said. The unit replaces the anti-crime team disbanded in 2020.

CNN’s Rob Frehse and Mark Morales contributed to this report.

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