A quiet Easter Sunday afternoon in Hell’s Kitchen descended into chaotic scenes on W44th Street after shots were fired. Video of the sunny street shows neighbors running and taking cover as gunshots rang out between 9th and 10th Avenue just after 2pm.
NYPD confirmed this evening that at least one shot was fired, which struck a motor vehicle. Neighbors reported a minivan on the block with a shattered window. The local block association said that “Hell’s Kitchen is under assault” — and urged local elected officials to “give us the resources to counter the crime that is taking over our neighborhood.”
The incident occurred on the same block where a man was beaten and stabbed by a group of seven youths earlier this week. The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating that attack and a video was released showing the youths suspected of being involved in the assault.
When shots rang out this afternoon, locals could be seen running away on W44th Street and diving behind cars to take cover. It appears from the video that multiple shots were fired. Some dashed into Frisson Espresso coffee shop on the street to take refuge from the incident.
Police cordoned off both ends of the street at 9th and 10th Avenue and for several hours would only allow residents to enter the area.
This block is one of the most exclusive areas in Hell’s Kitchen with single-family brownstones, the Actors Studio and the award-winning retail store Domus. In July last year, one of Domus’s owners, Nicki Lindheimer, was assaulted at the store during the day.
In April 2022, a Turkish man was stabbed mere hours after his arrival in New York. Authorities arrested a man for what appeared to be a pattern of targeted hate crimes against Turkish immigrants in Midtown.
A block away at W44th and 8th Avenue, there have been two murders within the past 12 months. In February this year, a man was shot dead during rush hour at that intersection — while in August last year, a man was stabbed to death in a dispute.
This evening, Susan Ameel, president of The West 44th St. Better Block Association, told W42ST: “We are horrified and dismayed that we have experienced a shooting and a stabbing on our block in one week. We commend the police for their quick action in apprehending the shooter from this most recent violence, fervently hope that our elected officials acknowledge that Hell’s Kitchen is under assault, spurred in part by illegal drugs and unlicensed cannabis stores, and urge they finally give us the resources to counter the crime that is taking over our neighborhood.”
“Gun violence on our streets is unacceptable. I have spoken with our local NYPD precinct and am glad to hear there were no injuries and have offered the assistance of my office,” said Assembly Member Tony Simone. “Violent incidents such as these are why I’m fighting for over $110 million in gun violence funding from Albany, including $25 million for crime stabilization units which tackle illegal gun shipments and assist police with crime surges, and $18 million for crime analysis centers. Perpetrators of violence must always be held fully accountable and I’m thankful for the efforts of the NYPD in investigating this shooting.”
Council Member Erik Bottcher said: “I am outraged by the brazen daylight shooting that occurred on 44th Street on Easter afternoon. Given the number of people who were out enjoying the beautiful spring day, this shooting could easily have resulted in serious injury or death. My office is in contact with the NYPD about this incident, which is sadly not the only act of violence that has taken place here in recent days. New Yorkers deserve a city where they feel safe and protected, and the proliferation of guns, illegal weed stores and narcotics sales undermine that fundamental need. We must redouble efforts to make our city a place where every resident thrives without the fear of violence. I want to thank the NYPD for their swift response and urge anyone with information to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.”
Police told us this evening that there were no injuries and could not confirm that there had been an arrest in relation to the incident.