The new year got off to a violent start, with more than a dozen people being shot yesterday, including a Brooklyn man who became the city's first homicide victim of 2007.
The fatal shooting was reported around midday. Police said 26-year-old Jonathan Ridley, who had a history of arrests, was shot dead in Brownsville as he was walking with a female friend on Sutter Avenue. As of last night, no arrests were made.
During the first hours of 2007, 13 others were shot and injured in incidents citywide. Just 15 minutes into the New Year, a Brooklyn man shot himself in the finger in the vicinity of Pitkin Avenue and Amboy Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, police reported. At about the same time, on Thatford Avenue, police said an 18-year-old man was shot in the leg and taken to Brookdale Hospital in critical condition.
Yesterday, police were also investigating two multiple shootings. In the first, which occurred shortly before 1 a.m. on Amsterdam Avenue in Harlem, police said three people were shot and injured, including a 27-year-old man who was struck in the chest and taken to St. Luke's Hospital in critical condition.
Hours later, at 3:20 a.m., police responded to an incident in the Bronx in which four people were shot — none fatally — at an apartment building on East 161st Street in Melrose. In that shooting, two men were shot on the second floor of the building and two others were shot in the lobby.
Despite the number of shootings, there were fewer homicides yesterday than in previous years, the police department's chief spokesman, Paul Browne, said.
On January 1, 2005, there were nine shootings and four homicides. On the first day of 2006, there were six shootings and four homicides.
While Mr. Browne declined to characterize yesterday's shootings, he said that celebratory shootings on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day seem to have tapered off in recent years, mainly due to increased police presence.