With five months remaining in 2020, New York City has already eclipsed the 776 total shootings recorded in 2019.
On Saturday night, a man was standing outside his home near the Mitchel Houses project when he heard gunshots. Moments later he began to feel pain and realized he had been shot. When he arrived at Lincoln Hospital, he officially became the year's 777th shooting victim.
The massive surge in violent crime this year has killed or injured 942 victims, including several innocent children like 1-year-old Davell Gardner, who was shot to death in his stroller mid-July.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has offered multiple explanations for what could be causing the grisly uptick in shootings, including the coronavirus pandemic and resulting court closures.
Whatever the cause, law enforcement officials said they do not expect to see an improvement.
"It only gets worse from here," said Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "As the shootings continue, so will retaliation. It's a vicious cycle that the NYPD worked hard to mitigate, but that they are no longer able and, in some cases, willing to do."
At the current pace, New York City is set to exceed 1,300 shootings by year's end.