Gunplay: Number of teenage shooters, victims in NYC triples in disturbing trend

The number of teenage victims and shooters in the Big Apple has tripled in recent years with New Yorkers under 18 now accounting for an ever greater share of the bloodshed on city streets, a jolting new police memo reveals.

The findings are part of a three-page data analysis prepared by the New York Police Department, which was recently distributed to other law enforcement agencies around the city, a copy of which was obtained by The Post.

It reveals that 12.7% of identified shooters were younger than age 18 during the first eight months of 2022, a significant jump from the same time period in 2017, when 9.2% of shooters were identified as teenagers.

Compounding that finding, the share of teenagers injured or killed in shootings has also exploded over the five-year period.

Teenagers represented 10.9% of the shooting victims across the five boroughs over the first eight months of 2022, the analysis found — double the 5.7% rate reported in 2017.

Those under 18 have become far more likely to become a victim of a shooting or named by cops as the suspected triggerman as the number of shootings across the five boroughs surged amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There were 111 teenage shooting victims over the first eight months of 2022, which is triple the 36 victims over the same time period in 2017.

Paramedics with a teenager who was shot outside of Lincoln High School in Brooklyn on September 9, 2022.
Paul Martinka

The increase outpaces the overall rise in gun violence, which has nearly doubled in 2022 when compared to 2017.

All told, police have recorded 992 shootings with 1,206 victims so far this year.

“It is crystal clear we are failing our kids,” said Richard Aborn, president of the Citizens Crime Commission, who has helped craft policing policy for several decades in New York.

The figures, he said, bolster the findings outlined in alarming new research that shows the average age children first pick up an illegal gun has dropped from an average of 16 or 17 to just 12 or 13 years old.

According to NYPD data, the number of teenage shooters and shooting victims has tripled in recent years.
Paul Martinka

“We need to get ahead of it. It is a national trend but that doesn’t mitigate it,” Aborne added, saying officials need to redouble efforts to provide parents and counselors with training and resources to better spot early signs of violence.

This past summer bore witness to a string of horrific shootings with teen victims, deepening the toll the Big Apple’s now three-year long surge in shootings has taken on communities across the five boroughs.

A 16-year-old boy was shot in the face and a 12-year-old girl took a bullet to her arm in a random and still-unsolved double shooting as they walked separately down Rev. James A. Polite Boulevard near East 163rd Street in The Bronx on July 25.

Both survived but others weren’t so lucky.

Blood on the sidewalk where two teens were shot on Reverend Polite Blvd. in the Bronx on July 26, 2022.
J. Messerschmidt/NY Post

Earlier this month in Queens, a 17-year-old girl was shot and killed while sitting in a car by a 15-year-old in the backseat, who accidentally fired the gun, in front of 240-06 136th Avenue near Brookville Boulevard.

Days later, a 15-year-old boy was killed by a masked bandit in a busy downtown Brooklyn park after leaving school on Sept. 7.

Police at the scene of where a 15-year-old boy was shot in McLaughlin Park in Brooklyn on September 7, 2022.
Paul Martinka

The NYPD report also found that recidivism among teenagers has dramatically increased over the five-year period.

But it notes the uptick began before the pandemic struck in 2020 and state lawmakers passed controversial legislation that increased the age of criminal prosecution for many crimes — including gun possession — to 18 years old in 2019.