At least four people were shot, two fatally, as gunshots erupted at the bustling J’Ouvert celebration in Brooklyn despite NYPD doubling its patrols.
The annual West Indian heritage celebration was marred by deadly violence for a second consecutive year. Cops rushed to eastern Prospect Park before 4 a.m. following reports that four people had been shot in two separate incidents.
A man and a woman were fatally shot within minutes of each other along Empire Blvd. near Flatbush Ave. in Prospect-Lefferts Garden. The man — who is 18 to 20 years old — died of at least one gunshot wound in the chest while a bullet struck a 22-year-old woman in the head at Washington Ave., police said.
A 72-year-old woman was shot in the arm and a 66-year-old woman was injured while trying to escape the scene.
Frightened revelers scattered as gunshots rang out.
A 23-year-old woman was stabbed at Ocean Ave. and Empire Blvd shortly before 5 a.m.
Then at about 7 a.m., a 20-year-old man was shot in the leg at Rogers and Clarkson Aves. All the victims except the woman who was stabbed, who refused medical treatment, were taken to Kings County Hospital. The 20-year-old man and two older women were in stable condition.
Cops initially outnumbered revelers during a quiet start to J’Ouvert — but the celebration turned violent as revelers marched through Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and Crown Heights.
Celebrators continued to dance despite the police investigations along Empire Blvd.
Prospect Heights resident Jill Roberts, who hoped for a peaceful night of festivities, slammed the gun attacks as “senseless killings.”
“I feel like I didn’t have a J’Ouvert,” Roberts, 42, said. She wished authorities would “tell these people to go home.”
“It’s not safe,” Roberts added.
Marchers who braved the bullets tossed paint and baby powder at fellow partiers, into the air and at squad cars as more than a thousand NYPD officers watched over the celebration, an event that has been marred by heartbreaking violence in the past.
On Friday, the NYPD said officers had arrested 43 gangbangers and seized 10 guns in a takedown timed to tamp down violence during the weekend.
Jouvert traditionally precedes the New York Caribbean Carnival Parade, but is not affiliated with it.
Gov. Cuomo aide Carey Gabay was fatally shot by a stray bullet during last year’s J’Ouvert revelry.
Vendors welcomed the heavy police presence even if it meant sparser crowds — and fewer customers.
“There’s more police in the area and that’s good,” said Fort Greene vendor Gerald (Unk) Covington, who has catered to the nighttime party for the 23 years. “The crowd would be three times the size in previous years.”