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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.
“…spurred in part by illegal drugs and unlicensed cannabis stores…” What is this claim based on? I have heard nothing about these violent incidents being drug related. And I can understand being upset about unlicensed stores, but again what does that have to do with violent incidents? It seems to me that functioning businesses make the neighborhood safer than blighted, empty storefronts, which many of these unlicensed stores previously were.
I agree. Susan Ameel and The West 44th St. Better Block Association talk a big game. But they can’t even get their Christmas wreaths down before Labor Day!
What a silly comment. Have you walked down 44th st lately? One of the nicest blocks in Hell’s Kitchen, and for the record, the wreaths were down by the end of January. Interested to know why you are so ardently supporting illegal, unregulated stores that are selling potentially adulterated drugs.
“One of the nicest blocks,” aside from the shooting and the stabbing? I see. I’d like to know why you think it’s OK to use a horrifying event such as a shooting in broad daylight in our own neighborhood to advance a different, unrelated cause, making things up and gleefully exploiting the suffering of the victims. Susan’s cynicism is appalling, but I’m glad that this year for a change they listened to a disgusted public and took down their decorations “only” 3 weeks after the end of Christmas!
My question remains unanswered: why are you so eagerly supporting illegal businesses selling unregulated and potentially adulterated drugs? This incident started at a weed shop on 8th Ave, today there was a killing at a weed shop on Harlem. The whole point of legal weed shops is to sell marijuana grow in controlled circumstances by farms located in NYS. The drugs sold in these illegal shops can come from anywhere in the world and can be adulterated by numerous kinds of substances. Why do you support that? And if you are ‘so disgusted’ by the wreaths, how about you offer to take them down in frigid weather yourself? What a weird thing to fixate on.
Flo, your “question” remains unanswered because it is a pathetic attempt to change the subject. The subject is the shooting on 44th Street. A block you love so much, though this week has shown it to be so dangerous and poorly looked after by its residents. A block with no weed shop on it. Start a new post if you don’t like the focus on the increasingly “suss” 44th Street. But your attempted diversions will go nowhere here!
Thank you! I did a double-take when I read that claim.
There have been a couple of crimes related to the smoke shops. I remember at least one shooting that happened in one.
We need better neighborhood surveillance, but curious to learn how they caught the shooter. What was the motive? If it was road rage, it seems irresponsible to claim it’s due to drugs or smoke shops. Those things are terrible for different reasons.
I agree with Greg. The linking of illegal drugs and unlicensed cannabis stores is total speculation without any basis in facts about these shootings. Our Hell’s Kitchen Free Store was vandalized (rain curtain cut in half, shelves ripped out, and Community Board destroyed, two nights ago. There is a lot of mental illness on the street, and anger. We ignore the problems at our own peril,
I believe Mr Bottcher should have meant to say “proliferation of *illegal* guns” or does he mean he is continuing his assault against law abiding citizens’s rights to protect and defend themselves with their constitutional rights to own firearms for protection and is continuing his crusade against the Second Amendment? The criminals don’t care about your firearms restrictions yet your continued, zealous and unconstitutional efforts to disarm law abiding citizens, women and minorities suffering abuse robs us of our ability to defend ourselves and our homes as a last resort against such deadly assaults as we are again witnessing in our community.
With all the deadly violence and inability for the NYPD to keep us safe as we walk down our streets from obvious thugs coming into our neighborhoods for nefarious reasons we’ve already lost our rights from Albany to defend ourselves east of 9th Avenue where we continue to see an increase in gun and other deadly assaults and the answer to that from our Councilman is to assure only criminals will have the instruments that could protect us while criminalizing those who wish to exercise their rights to self-protection? How do we protect ourselves when our city council and police can’t or won’t?
We “protect ourselves” by reducing the number of guns, period. Not by encouraging more people to buy more guns because of some myth that more guns make us safer. The second amendment sure hasn’t increased safety so far. This comment reads like an NRA press release.
Talk about speculation….this is exactly what WON’T work. Reducing the number of guns means more criminals will have more of the guns, not less. I am not a fan of guns and do not own one, btw.
This sentence literally makes no sense: “Reducing the number of guns means more criminals will have more of the guns, not less.”
Reducing the number of guns means that guns will be reduced for all people. Guns do not increase safety, which is why the US is a world outlier in mass shootings.
As of this morning, the glass from the minivan has not been cleaned up, and it looks like the vehicle has been further burgled. A huge road hazard!
The whole neighborhood has gone down hill. With all the crime, assaults on women, homeless and junkie population everywhere. When will there actually be police presence in the neighborhood again??? It’s like the wild west. Hell’s Kitchen no longer feels like a safe place to live.
It looks like Ms. Ameel is correct is this case, according to NYPD reports. The dispute started outside/at a smokeshop on 43rd & 8th. There was a chase northwest where the verbal dispute continued. This is where the shots were then fired.
We asked NYPD if they could confirm this. A spokesperson told us: “There are no updates and the investigation remains ongoing.”
Thank you for objective, local reporting. This really is a remarkable publication, and I highly respect the fact checking,
Thank you, Phil!
There was also a driving incident last week on that block next to the Target during the middle of the day. It involved a serviceman in uniform and appeared to be a traffic/parking dispute with someone else. I saw the serviceman looking like he was arguing and talking to someone and he appeared his service pistol in hand. Police were on the scene minutes later and the serviceman was still there talking to them. I didn’t really follow what was happening, but it did happen on Wednesday 4/5 midday on 44th right next to the Target.
Cars really do bring out the worst in people.
People bring out the worst in cars!
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