An estimated 2 million gathered in Crown Heights for the 44th annual West Indian Day parade yesterday. Covered in feathers and sequins, dancers, musicians and New Yorkers marched down Eastern Parkway.
But the revelry was short lived — at least two separate shootings, according to police, marred the celebration of Caribbean culture.
Moments after the parade began, a man fired a gun into the air, blocks from where Mayor Michael Bloomberg was marching. He jumped into a cab and fled, but police chased the suspect down, spraying him with Mace before arresting him.
Later in the day, two men were shot, one in the stomach and the other in the leg. One of the men remains in critical condition.
The city took extra safety precautions considering the fatal history of the parade, deploying NYPD helicopters. In 2003 and 2005, people were killed in shootings along the parade route.
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