Shooting at William Boyland’s car strikes fear in city – Metro US

Shooting at William Boyland’s car strikes fear in city

Mayor Michael Bloomberg loves to boast about how safe New York is, but an elected official and his 7-year-old child narrowly avoided being killed Wednesday night in what police say was a random shooting.

Assemblyman William Boyland was driving in Brownsville with his son in the car at around 6 p.m. Wednesday when three bullets shattered the back window of his SUV. Neither of the two were hurt, but one of the bullets lodged in the front seat.

An NYPD spokeswoman said they do not think the assemblyman was targeted. But the idea that a random spray of bullets can hit even an assemblyman is horrifying New Yorkers.

“That sounds terrifying,” said Michael Catrone, 25, a messenger who lives in Astoria. “It makes me a little nervous. You’ve just got to be careful.”

The Boyland shooting comes on top of a summer when some of New York’s most popular, well-traveled areas — like the Upper East Side and Brighton Beach — have seen shocking, and sometimes deadly crime outbreaks.

“What’s happening in Central Brooklyn is just a microcosm of the city of New York,” Councilwoman Letitia James told Metro. “It’s unfortunate that Assemblyman Boyland’s car has to happen in order to get the attention of this administration.”

Bloomberg’s office pointed out that crime in the 73rd precinct, where the shooting took place, is down by 20 percent since the mayor took office in 2001, and shootings have dropped by 18 percent this year from last. Citywide, murder is down, but rape and assault are up.

Boyland under fire

While police don’t think Boyland was the intended target in the shooting, he is a controversial figure.

The four-term assemblyman was indicted in March on bribery and corruption charges. Just last week, he enraged some Brownsville residents when he drove past a prayer vigil for a 13-year-old girl who was killed. Boyland honked his horn and waved at those attending, but didn’t stop the car. metro/ab

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlistonatMetro.