New York City has recorded more shootings so far in 2020 than the whole of last year, authorities have confirmed.
The milestone was reached when a man presented to Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, north New York, with gunshot wounds on Saturday evening.
“It only gets worse from here,” Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and professor of criminal justice, told the Post.
“As the shootings continue, so will retaliation. It’s a vicious cycle that the NYPD worked hard to mitigate, but that they are no longer able and in some cases willing to do.”
Several major cities across the US have seen a surge in violent crime in recent months amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I think it’s just a perfect storm of distress in America,” Atlanta mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, said earlier this month, following a weekend of violence.
With the 2020 election looming, president Donald Trump has attempted to capitalise on the violence to boost his chances of remaining in the White House.
He has accused Democrat controlled cities of being “weak”, suggesting that the crime wave is being fuelled by recent protests calling for greater race equality, and end to police brutality and reform of law enforcement.
The president has also sent militarised federal agents to a number of cities in an attempt to quell unrest, against the wishes of local governors.
In Portland, Oregon – which has been at the centre of demonstrations in recent weeks - there were 15 deadly shootings or stabbing in July, according to the city’s police bureau.
Elsewhere, Chicago has seen a surge in violent crime. In the six months from January to June in 2020, 329 people have been killed in Chicago, according to Chicago Police Department figures.
Some 246 people were killed in the same period last year, representing an increase of around 34 per cent, the figures state.