The people shot to death at this year's J'Ouvert festival were identified by sources as Tyreke Borel, 17, and Tiarah Poyau, 22, police confirmed. Police said they do not believe they were the intended targets of the shootings.
Despite manymeasures tominimize danger at J’Ouvert, the pre-dawn Caribbean pride festival that kicks of the annual West Indian American Day Parade in Brooklyn, the celebration again turned deadly with a series of violent incidents early Monday.
In two separate shootings near the eastern edge of Prospect Park, at least two people were shot and killed, with four others wounded in the gunfire and one person stabbed, police said.
At approximately 3:50 a.m. on the morning of Monday, Sept. 5, a man in his late teens or early 20s was shot in the chest near the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Empire Boulevard and pronounced dead.
About 25 minutes later a woman was killed by a gunshot to the head near Washington Ave.
In the mayhem a 72-year-old woman was shot in the arm, and a 66-year-old woman was injured as well.
At around 5 a.m. a woman said she was stabbed near the same intersection but refused medical attention.
Then at 7 a.m. a 20-year-old man was shot in the leg at Rogers and Clarkson Aves, he and the older women are recovering at Kings County Hospital and are said to be in stable condition.
Police have not yet identified the victims nor speculated on the possible motive, the New York Daily News reported.
In recent years there have been a number of violent incidents at J’Ouvert, casting a shadow over the lively celebration. Last year, Carey Gabay, a legal aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was shot in the head and killed in a gang-related incident while he was going home from J’Ouvert.
“We will not let a few define the many. We will not let a few who do the wrong thing define the hundreds of thousands who do the right thing,” de Blasio said at a pre-parade breakfast.
This year the city undertook what de Blasio called “extraordinary efforts” to prevent violence. The measures included doubling the patrol vans from 25 to 50, increasingthe number of flood lights from the 40 of last year to 200, and for the first time required J’Ouvert organizers to submit for a permit for a designated route. In the weeks leading up to the parade, police had posted controversial fliers throughout Crown Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and Flatbush commanding revelers “Do not shoot anyone. Do not stab anyone. Every act of violence will e fully investigated and prosecuted.”
In spite of the violence, the J’Ouvert celebrations continued, leading into the main West Indian American Day Parade that will conclude Monday at around 6 p.m.